Made with roasted hazelnuts, red onions and apples, this easy kohlrabi salad is crisp and refreshing. It's a light and delicious side dish for any fall meal.
If you still have room for another dish on your Thanksgiving menu, make this kohlrabi salad recipe! It's crispy and refreshing - the perfect way to balance gourmet holiday dishes like Padding and mashed potatoes. Plus, it only requires 10 ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes. You can chop the vegetables, whip the dressing and have it on the table for as long as it takes to heat up your Little bread or sweet potato casserole in the oven!
The recipe comes my friend Andreathe new book of Local Dirt: Seasonal recipes to eat close to home. In 2018, Andrea challenged herself to eat only foods grown within 200 miles of her farm for a month. Local dirt commemorates his experience. It's packed with stories, recipes and tips for eating locally or, in Andrea's words, “discovering and celebrating what we have”. What's more in the spirit of Thanksgiving? The book isn't vegetarian, but it does include a number of mouth-watering vegetarian options. I can't wait to try the frozen beet and yogurt soup, the fennel and hazelnut gratin and the classic apple pie next!
Ingredients of the kohlrabi salad recipe
If you think, “What is kohlrabi?” I hear you. I learned what it was years ago when it first appeared in my CSA box. Like cabbage and broccoli, it is a member of the brassica family. It tastes like mustard, pepper and a crunchy texture similar to a turnip. It's super versatile - you can roast it and sauté it - but I like it better raw. This coleslaw perfectly shows off its crunchy and juicy texture. I think you will love it!
Once you've got your hands on some kohlrabi (you only need one!), Put these simple ingredients together to make the coleslaw:
- An Apple - Look for a crunchy and sweet variety. I used a Gala apple, and it was delicious, but a Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apple would work well too.
- Red onion - It adds a sweet touch to the salad.
- Apple cider vinegar and mustard - They make the vinaigrette pleasant and tangy.
- Honey - It balances the strong mustard and the vinegar.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Andrea is actually asking for hazelnut oil, but I swapped olive oil because that's what I keep on hand. Use what you have or what is local to you!
- Hazelnut - They add extra crunch and a rich nutty flavor.
- And parsley - It gives the kohlrabi salad a nice fresh finish.
Find the full recipe with the measurements below.
When you are ready to cook, cut the kohlrabi leaves, peel the bulb and cut it into thin boards. Then cut the boards into matchsticks. While you're at it, thinly slice the onion and also chop the apple into matchsticks.
Whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard and honey together in the bottom of a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish the salad with parsley and serve!
Variations of kohlrabi salad
For each recipe in the book, Andrea offers suggestions for "locating it" or using different ingredients you may have on hand. Here are his ideas for this kohlrabi salad:
- Change the fruit. Try using a ripe pear instead of an apple. Attention: you may want to buy in advance. Pears are often sold under-ripe and need a few days to soften on the counter.
- Try another nut. No hazelnuts? No problem. Instead, use nuts, pecans or almonds.
- Use another vegetable. Andrea recommends using thinly sliced broccoli stalks instead of kohlrabi. How creative is that ?!
- Add cheese. This suggestion actually comes from me. I think shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese would be fantastic in this salad! The salty flavor contrasts nicely with the sweet apples.
Andrea writes that “Cooking and eating should be fun,” and I totally agree. Hope you enjoy experimenting with these variations. Let me know which ones you try!
Suggested portions of kohlrabi salad
Because it's so simple, this kohlrabi salad is a great recipe to have in your back pocket in the fall. Whip it up whenever you need a quick side dish to complement a fall dinner. It would go well with Stuffed acorn squash, Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms, Pumpkin or Butternut squash soup, or one of these pasta recipes:
And as I mentioned above, this kohlrabi salad would also be a wonderful addition to a Thanksgiving dinner! Serve it with classic side dishes like Green bean casserole, Sweet potato puree, sauce, and cranberry sauce. For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out this post, and don't forget the pumpkin pie for dessert!
More favorite fall salads
If you like this kohlrabi salad, check out Local dirt! In the meantime, try one of these fall salad recipes:
- 1/4 Chopped off extra virgin olive oil or hazelnut oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 coffee spoons honey
- 1 teaspoon old-style mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 big apple, hollowed out and cut into matchsticks
- 1 kohlrabi medium, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1/4 Chopped off sliced red onion
- 1/4 Chopped off chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 1/4 Chopped off finely chopped parsley, more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, mustard and salt.
Add the apple, kohlrabi, onion, hazelnuts and parsley and toss to coat.
Season to taste with S&P, garnish with additional parsley and serve.
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It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.
Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.
Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).
I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a healthy appetite for grains, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based nutrition. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.
Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.
In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.
Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.
A great many dietary folklores around the world are already plant-based, which means that vegans and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary traditions to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal préférés ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new grains, legumes, and vegetables.
A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.
Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and alimentation clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '
While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the possibilités were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and texture of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.
Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.
While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tons of different grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' texture and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome texture that most people prefer.
When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.
For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.
This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).
But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.
Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and folklores. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.
And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all végétaliens eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.
Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, invite him or her over for some recipe testing.
Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.