Cool, crisp and crunchy like fall, this is a salad that will be twisted and turned all season. The kohlrabi adventure started with a harvest of some fifty pounds of a giant variety called Superschmelz. Despite the size, it’s not at all fibrous or mealy.
When lettuce season is over and the dark days set in, this is a wonderfully refreshing salad. I served it at Thanksgiving, where it created a raw and piquant counterpoint to roasted vegetables and turkey with all the trimmings. It keeps surprisingly well. I doused the kohlrabi and celery with lemon juice hours before serving time and added the apples, walnut oil, herbs and walnuts just at the end. The last time I made it, I thought it actually improved the following day.
For me, the big discovery was not all the things I could do with raw kohlrabi but rather the parboiling of celery before adding it to the salad. That little touch made all the difference since it allowed the texture of the crisp apples and kohlrabi to be the focus, not the celery. If you have celery leaves, by all means use them. Otherwise, fall back on parsley. I made this with mustard vinaigrette as suggested but I preferred the simpler mixture of lemon juice and walnut oil.
Kohlrabi, Celery and Apple Salad with Walnut Dressing adapted from A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus
1 large or several small kohlrabi (total 1¼ lb)
6 stalks celery
Salt and water
1 crisp apple (or an Asian or Bosc pear)
½ c leaves of celery and/or parsley
1 c walnuts, lightly toasted
Juice of 1 lemon
Peel the kohlrabi and slice it into matchsticks or ¼-inch similar to the size of apple slices.
Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Prepare a small pot of ice water. Wash and trim the celery stalks and slice on the diagonal ¼ inch thick. Cook in the boiling water for 10 seconds, drain and plunge into ice water. Drain again and lay out on a towel to dry.
The celery and kohlrabi can be made in advance. Cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for up to a day.
When ready to serve, slice the apple into small pieces and place in a bowl with the kohlrabi, celery, celery and/or parsley leaves and walnuts. Toss with lemon juice and walnut oil to taste.