Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts – Gluten-free + Vegan

by tastyyummies

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts - gluten-free + vegan

This past Saturday was the first pickup day for our CSA share from Porter Farms. Besides getting delicious, fresh, seasonal, local organic produce directly from the farm, if that isn’t exciting enough, another enticing benefit is getting foods that I have never cooked with before. There is nothing more fun than playing with an ingredient you aren’t familiar with, creating a new recipe and treating your taste buds to a brand new experience. The first week was supposedly one of the smaller weeks, since it is early in the season, but I thought the bag was loaded. We got green romaine, green leaf, Boston and red leaf lettuces plus bok choy, kohlrabi, Swiss chard and green onions. I have been eating salads like crazy, it’s Wednesday night and we still have so much stuff left. It’s exciting!

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts - gluten-free + vegan

When I saw the beautiful purple kohlrabi in the first bag of veggies, I literally squealed with glee that in the first week I was already presented with a food I had never cooked with. It’s like those silly game shows on the food and cooking channels where they get a basket with a bunch of random, secret ingredients. The only difference is, besides my hubby there is no one to judge the results of my experiments. That is until today, when a good friend of ours, Jim (aka Jammer) called to stop by about a quick design job he needed Mark to help him with. We’ve been trying to make dinner happen with Jammer for a while now, so Mark told him he should stay for dinner. While the boys chatted design, I cooked away on a meal I wasn’t sure Jammer would be too into. Vegan, gluten-free Sloppy Joes with a kohlrabi slaw on the side. Yup, after really thinking about what I was going to serve him, I definitely realized he might never come back for dinner again.

I carried on, made my meal, took my photos and called the boys down. Jammer exclaimed he had a steak a few hours earlier and wasn’t terribly hungry so he would probably only eat half a sandwich and a little slaw. Before I cook look up again, his entire sloppy joe was gone and the salad had disappeared completely. Jammer couldn’t say enough good things about both and even went on to tell me and I quote ” I was afraid of that salad at first, but it was f*cking good.” So there you have it folks. (Jammer insisted that I quote him on this and that I share it with my readers.)

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts - gluten-free + vegan

Never heard of kohlrabi? Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family, those nutrient-dense cabbages (as well as kales, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower) whose phytochemicals are highly regarded for their antioxidant properties. Kohlrabi grows in both pale green and purple varieties. It tastes slightly milder than a broccoli stem and can be eaten raw or cooked. Think about kohlrabi as what you would get if broccoli and cabbage were to make a baby.  Additionally, if you can get your kohlrabi with the greens attached, cook them as you would turnip greens or kale. I saved mine and plan to do something with them in the next day or two.

This slaw is crisp, fresh and bright and loaded with tangy flavor from the vinaigrette. The garlic scapes that I grabbed at the Lexington Co-Op in the morning were the perfect crunchy addition. If you don’t have garlic scapes, thinly sliced scallions would be absolute wonderful, too. The sweetness from the cranberries and the nutty crunch from the walnuts finished the slaw perfectly, the perfect final harmonious ingredients to pull it all together into a sweet song for your mouth. I cannot wait to see what is in this week’s CSA share. So exciting.

Do you like cooking with new ingredients? What has been your favorite new food you have tried recently?

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts - gluten-free + vegan

 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

What a gorgeous dish, Beth! i love all the different colors and textures going on there! How lucky that you get a CSA box!! I love cooking with new veggies — it’s a great way to be creative and experiment:)

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2 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free June 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I love my CSA. It is so much fun because I get completely new produce every week-some I’ve never heard of! So it forces me to experiment–which isn’t a bad thing at all :D

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3 Ashlae | Oh, Ladycakes June 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I’ve never had kohlrabi, but now I want it. And, admittedly, I haven’t tried any new foods lately. Ahh! But I am dead set on finding kohlrabi and trying it. So that counts for something, right?

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4 ingrid June 29, 2012 at 4:27 am

Here in the Netherlands I also have a green and fruit bag from local farmers., the vita-bag. Since I made the decision to eat better, organic etc. I discoverd sooooo many new foods.( You inspired me to try quinoa). The greens I weekly get in the vita-bag are often the old fashion ones like parsnip or the green kohrabi. Loving it.
Just peeked in my freezer yesterday thinking what to do with the cranberries. Perfect timing ;-)

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5 Willow June 29, 2012 at 9:48 am

Lovely salad! I found your blog via your guest post at Fork and Beans, and it’s lovely! I look forward to reading more. :)

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6 Mary @ Fit and Fed June 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Quite the pungent quote! I love broccoli stems so the kohlrabi salad sounds like a winner for me. New foods–can’t think of anything absolutely new that I’ve had lately, but young coconuts are newish for me and I’ve been playing around using the coconut meat and coconut water in lots of different ways. How about new foods I need to try? Cacao nibs and chia seeds are both on my list.

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7 Jim Williams August 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I had some purple kohlrabi growing in the backyard that needed to be eaten last night and found your recipe. I added some shiso (also from the backyard). It was delicious! I had never tried it raw before but loved the crunchiness. I’ll have to grow more of it next year. Thanks!

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8 Guchan March 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

I tried this and liked it a lot. I recommend cutting the kohlrabi in very thin strips — it tastes better that way. The dressing and combination of the cranberries and walnuts makes a very tasty dish!

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