Move Over Kale, Kohlrabi Is Summer's New Super Green (Plus, How to Make It)

Move Over Kale, Kohlrabi Is Summer's New Super Green (Plus, How to Make It)
Courtesy Little Park
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In case you missed the whispering at the farmer’s market this weekend, trendy veggie staples kale and kimchi need to make room for the new green in town: kohlrabi. Long a star at locavore, farm-to-table establishments, the root vegetable with cabbage family values has stepped into the mainstream grocery and dining light. It’s odd appearance – a green or bright purple bulb with large flat leaves – might intimidate someone unfamiliar with how to prepare it, but it’s actually extremely versatile in that it can be enjoyed raw or cooked. In fact, the entire vegetable, save for the tough outer skin, is edible.

“It’s crunchy, watery, and slightly sweet like jicama,” says Min Kong, chef de cuisine at Little Park in New York City, where they serve kohlrabi raw in a springy salad with figs, hazelnuts, and roasted garlic (pictured, above).

“I felt that people were somewhat mystified by kohlrabi’s name and appearance so I wanted to present it in a creative way that people would enjoy based on the taste and texture,” says Kong, who hopes that the salad recipe below will inspire diners to explore other preparations of the vegetable, as well as other unfamiliar produce.

Her super-fresh recipe is a light and crisp addition to any summer meal, and Kong suggests washing it down with a medium-bodied white wine with bright acidity. Read on for the full breakdown. 

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Kohlrabi with Figs, Hazelnuts, and Roasted Garlic

Serves 4

Ingredients

Hazelnut butter (recipe follows)

Kohlrabi threads

Red kale, finely chopped

Trevisano, finely chopped

Roasted garlic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Toasted hazelnuts, chopped (recipe follows)

Figs, sliced

Hemp seeds

Rosemary sprig (from roasted hazelnuts)

For the Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1/2 cup blended oil

1/4 cup garlic oil

1/4 cup hazelnut oil

Salt, to taste

For the Toasted Hazelnuts

1/2 cup hazelnuts, raw

1/4 cup butter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 rosemary sprig

1 thyme sprig

Salt, to taste

For the Hazelnut Butter

1 cup hazelnuts, raw

1/4 cup hazelnut oil

3 tbsp plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

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Directions

For the Vinaigrette

1. To make the garlic oil, cover four cloves of garlic in oil and simmer gently until tender and golden brown.

2. Blend cloves with all remaining ingredients, except for the oils, until fully incorporated.

3. Stream in oils until emulsified. Season.

For the Roasted Hazelnuts

1. Heat butter in extra virgin olive oil. When foamy and melted, add hazelnuts, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Toast until golden brown and fragrant.

2. Drain from butter, and remove (and reserve) whole herbs and garlic. Crush into small pieces.

For the Hazelnut Butter

1. Toss hazelnuts in three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and salt.

2. Toast on a lined sheet tray at 325°F for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Cool to room temperature.

3. Crush hazelnuts into fine pieces, then emulsify and combine with hazelnut oil and remaining EVOO. Season.

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For Plating

1. Spread hazelnut butter in bottom of a bowl.

2. Dress kohlrabi threads, finely chopped kale, finely chopped trevisano and chopped hazelnuts in roasted garlic vinaigrette, salt and black pepper.

3. Plate the salads and arrange fig slices on top. Arrange fig slices on top with hemp seeds and rosemary sprig from toasted hazelnuts.

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