If you’re woke enough, you know what kohlrabi is. If you don’t know what woke or kohlrabi is, then you should probably read on.
Championed by trendy hipsters who love nothing more than to talk about Heidegger’s Being and Time, French New Wave cinema and other things you haven’t heard of, kohlrabi is the new subject on every hipster’s bearded lips (if they’re a man, that is).
But it is more than just a vegetable: it is a social indicator of where you stand on the scale of Coolness. If you’re in a very cool restaurant and you see someone pointing to the menu and asking what the kohlrabi is, you know that that person is definitely not cool. It’s worth noting, however, that if a restaurant is serving kohlrabi, it will likely be serving dukkahs, vadouvan butter, and other such things to make you feel so ignorant that even the most flagrantly uncool diner might be too overwhelmed to ask questions.
So maybe you can’t root out the uncool diners, but by saying something along the lines of “kohlrabi is my absolute favourite vegetable,” then you are absolutely clarifying your own position on the Cool-rabi scale.
To best describe its taste, I’ll have to go back to its linguistic roots: Col, which means cabbage (think coleslaw) and Rube, for turnip. It’s hard to be cool when your name is Cabbage Turnip, but kohlrabi pulls it off. It may look ugly too, but then hipsters love everything from the ugly (like 1980s fashion and harem pants), to the downright hideous (pugs).
Serves 4 as a side
1 kohlrabi, peeled
Half a medium celeriac, peeled
1 apple, de-cored and chopped into quarters
1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp horseradish sauce
- Chop the kohlrabi into large chunks then slice with a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Put the kohlrabi into a shallow bowl and toss with the vinegar. Leave for 10 minutes.
- Chop the celeriac into matchsticks or grate with a thick grater setting. Thinly slice the apple with a mandolin. Mix together in a large bowl.
- Drain the vinegar from the kohlrabi into a small bowl, and mix in with the sugar until it dissolves. Add the mayonnaise and horseradish, whisk together and taste.
- Add the kohlrabi to the apple and celeriac, along with the chopped. Mix in the dressing. Chopped parsley is also a tasty addition.