When we started this blog a few years ago we chose the simple title of “Putney Farm”. And since we have this big garden (we fancy it a “farm”) and we are the Putneys, it made some sense- even if it lacked imagination. But since then, sometimes we wonder if we should have titled the blog “We grew this stuff, now what do we do it”? (And at times the blog could also be titled “You bought this random bottle of booze, now mix it with other hooch and hope for the best….”)
You see, the problem with gardening is that most of the food comes all at once. You want kale…we got KALE, by the bucket. Pornographic zucchini? Oh yes…more than we can possibly give away (nothing ruins friendships quicker than trying to give away bags of zucchini…we apologize in advance). And there is a touch of pathos hearing your kids say, “please, please, no more eggplant”.
So when you walk into our kitchen and see dozens of vegetable-centric cookbooks we have a good reason. We need recipes that truly work and that you can eat multiple times without making you hate whatever vegetable is filling your garden. Happily, we do seem to find recipes that we can all live with, and such is the case with this recipe for our newest vegetable, kohlrabi.
What’s kohlrabi? Well, it’s a funky looking root/tuber/turnip thing that tastes like cabbage. In fact, it is often called a “cabbage turnip”. It is also popular in Germany (any notes on kohlrabi always say that, so we will too). So what do you do a crunchy veggie that tastes like cabbage? Make slaw, of course. And we just happened to find an excellent recipe in Deborah Madison’s book Vegetable Literacy.
The recipe itself starts as a basic slaw, with a creamy, vinegar-tinged base. But the addition of avocado brings a rich, smooth counterbalance to the crispy kohlrabi and the fresh herbs add bright flavors and aromas. Good stuff. And still good after many servings. We used this as a side dish for roast chicken, but also as a topping for hot dogs (awesome, btw). This slaw goes with just about anything, and that is a very good thing, since we still have a few dozen kohlrabi in the fridge…..
Kohlrabi Slaw with Herb and Avocado Dressing:
(Adapted from Vegetable Literacy)
- 4 or 5 small kohlrabi (approx. 1 pound)
- 1/2 Hass avocado, peeled and sliced
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup yogurt or sour cream
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley or chervil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Peel the kohlrabi and then cut into fine julienne (matchsticks). You can use a knife, but a mandolin is a big help here. Place the julienned kohlrabi into a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, add the avocado pieces, oil, yogurt, vinegar and a teaspoon of salt to a food processor (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. Stir in the tarragon, parsley and half of the chives. Taste and season with more salt and pepper.
- Toss the dressing with the julienned kohlrabi until well-coated and garnish with the remaining chives. Serve.