This week we welcome kohlrabi, the ‘beautiful alien’ brassica. If your palate is craving a fresh hit as a counterfoil to all those wintery soups and stews, this is it. It’s at its best eaten raw in zingy slaws. If you can’t face salady things in deepest winter, try adding to a stir-fry or a root veg gratin. The recipe we’ve chosen to print is adapted from Ottolenghi’s new book Flavour. As he says in the intro, the nut-seed-chilli-seaweed sprinkle is pretty special, so why not make extra to put on other salads, noodles or rice. If you have a bit less than 500g of kohlrabi to play with, supplement with other ‘slaw’ veg of your choice eg. celeriac, carrot…
- 500g kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 20g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 60g spring onions, finely chopped (or, to be more seasonal, some red onion)
- 60ml sunflower oil
- Flaked sea salt
- For the sprinkle:
- 1 tbsp white or black sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp poppy seeds, toasted
- 1 tsp nori sprinkles (or blitz half a sheet of nori in a spice grinder)
- 1½ tsp Aleppo chilli flakes (or ¾ tsp regular chilli flakes)
- ½ tsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tbsp roasted and salted peanuts, chopped
- Put the sprinkle ingredients together in a small bowl with ½ teaspoon of flaked sea salt. Set aside.
- Slice the kohlrabi as thinly as possible, with a mandolin if you have one. Stack the slices on top of each other and slice into 2cm-wide strips (to resemble short flat noodles). Put them into a bowl with the lime juice and 1 tsp of salt. Toss together and set aside for 10 mins.
- Put the ginger and ¾ tsp of flaked salt into a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Place in a small bowl with the vinegar and two-thirds of the onions.
- Heat the oil in a small pan on a medium heat until warm, and add to the bowl of ginger and spring onions. Set aside for 20 mins for flavours to meld.
- Drain the kohlrabi to get rid of most of the liquid that will have collected, then toss with the oil and ginger mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle over the mixed seeds and nuts, and finish with the rest of the onions.