Kohlrabi season is upon us, and maybe you have wondered what the heck to do with this bulbous vegetable that you never see on any menu or grocery store shelf..
Kohlrabi is a brassica, the same vegetable family as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It is sort of the shape of a turnip, but with a thicker skin, and dark green leaves similar to kale. The leaves are some of my favorite greens - you can cook them exactly like kale, and they hold up well in stews and stir-fries. The raw, crunchy flesh of the kohlrabi is mild and watery, something in-between a radish and jicama. It is just as good roasted as it is raw.
For this dish, I wanted to use raw kohlrabi in a simple salad that can go with any meal. I paired it with pink pickled daikon cut into matchsticks, and poppy seeds, mainly because I knew they would look so good together! The pickled daikon, from St. Pete Ferments, gives a mild, salty flavor to the salad. The arugula gives a little peppery bite, the orange adds sweetness, and the lemon dressing ties it all together.
Lemon Poppy-Seed Kohlrabi Salad
1 bunch of kohlrabi (3-4 bulbs)
3 C arugula
1/4 C pickled daikon (from St. Pete Ferments), sliced into matchsticks
1 orange, peeled, sectioned and quartered
1 lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil
1-2 t poppy seeds (optional)
Take the leaves off the kohlrabi, and save to use them in another dish as you would any green, like kale. Peel the kohlrabi, and slice into thin rounds or use a mandoline. Then cut the rounds in half, and then thirds in the opposite direction, so you end up with thin, bite-size pieces.
Combine kohlrabi, pickled daikon matchsticks and orange pieces in a bowl, season with lemon juice and poppy seeds, and toss. Then add the arugula and olive oil to taste, toss again, and serve.
I don't know why, but tempeh and pickled vegetables are always a winning combination. Maybe it is because tempeh on it's own is a bit of an acquired taste; the fermented bean patty has a dry almost-bitterness to it - that pairs so nicely with a strong saurkraut or pickle.
This week at the Saturday Morning Market, I'm making soft tacos with fried tempeh and Curtido. Curtido is a latin-inspired kraut made by St. Pete Ferments. It is a blend of cabbage, carrots, onion and pineapple pickled with garlic, cumin and chili flakes to give it a spicy, flavorful kick! I think you'll find this simple recipe very satisfying, and a great way to shake up taco night :)
For this dish, I sourced homemade white corn tortillas at a Mexican market called Chile Verde (on 22nd Av N & 28th St., St. Pete).
You can find Curtido and St. Pete Ferments at the Saturday Morning Market, or online at www.stpeteferments.com.
Tempeh Tacos with Curtido
1 8oz package Tempeh
6 T olive or avocado oil
1 t chili powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1 t salt
5 inch white corn or flour tortillas
1 jar of St. Pete Ferment's Curtido
To cook the tempeh:
Pre-heat a pan over medium heat. Add olive or avocado oil, allow to heat until shimmery, not smoking. Crumble the tempeh into the pan, add chili, cumin and salt. Stir and cook until crispy and golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Remove tempeh from heat, and squeeze lime juice over it.
Heat the tortillas in a dry pan or on a grill until warm and toasted, but still flexible. Add 2 spoonfuls of tempeh, a good forkful of Curtido, and some chopped cilantro. Enjoy!