the taste space

Ottolenghi’s Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad

Posted in Appetizers, Favourites, Salads by Janet M on August 13, 2011


Delicious rejects.

It is getting close to the actual barbecue, and I am still trying out new recipes.

I honestly thought I had a winning recipe here.

You have your typical coleslaw with a vinaigrette, and then you have this coleslaw on a Middle/Eastern/European kick. First, slivered green cabbage, much loved by the Poles, is lovingly infiltrated by kohlrabi. I really enjoyed the crisp, slightly sweet julienned kohlrabi which was a perfect match to the cabbage. If you don’t have any kohlrabi, just increase the cabbage. If you have kohlrabi, make it into a slaw, as you won’t be disappointed.

Next, we have a lemony vinaigrette, which I much prefer to a creamy dressing any day. Spiced with dill, we have the Eastern European flavour palate going again. Sprouts are added for more mouth feel.

But then Ottolenghi adds the wonderful finale, his Middle Eastern flair, the best twist to the mix: dried tart cherries.

Since it is cherry season in Ontario, I tried the salad with both fresh and dried cherries, and the latter are definitely the winner. Which means everyone wins, because then this becomes a year-round salad. I also decreased the amount of dressing while adding in more vinegar, increased the sprouts and substituted some dill seeds since I didn’t have enough fresh dill.

However, despite how much I loved this salad, and figured it played with the perfect palate for feeding Rob’s Polish family (cabbage, lemon, DILL), he vetoed the salad. Poof! Just like that, it disappeared from the menu.

Their loss is my gain, because I have been eating this salad all week and pretty content that I don’t have to share it with anyone. :)

The sad part is that I am still wondering what kind of salad to make for the Poles… :P


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, and to this month’s Simple and in Season and to Ricki’s new Summer Wellness Weekends.

Ottolenghi’s Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad

300g green cabbage (1/4 head), thinly sliced
300g kohlrabi (1 medium-large head), peeled and julienned
6 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped (I didn’t have enough fresh dill, so I threw in some dried dill weed)
1 cup dried cherries
zest and juice of 1 lemon (3 tbsp fresh lemon juice)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g sprouts (alfalfa works but others are great too! I used a mix of lentil, alfalfa, radish, etc) – reserve some for garnish
1 tsp salt, or to taste
fresh pepper, to taste

1. Mix together the chopped cabgage, kohlrabi, dill, cherries, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, oil and garlic. Massage everything together for a few minutes to allow the flavours to meld and to soften the cabbage and cherries. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes.

2. Add the sprouts, salt and pepper, and adjust to taste.

3. Garnish with reserved sprouts and serve at room temperature.

Serves 4.

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24 Responses

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  1. Joanne said, on August 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    But it’s such a pretty in pink color! How could it have been rejected?!?!? Well, I know what I’ll be making should I get more cabbage in my CSA…now to find some kohlrabi…

  2. Priya said, on August 13, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Wonderful bowl of refreshing salad..

  3. Jodi said, on August 13, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Oh, I’m so with you on the kohlrabi in slaw. In fact, I won’t make my slaw without it now! (Every time I come home with kohlrabi from the market I vow to make something different with it, but that never quite pans out.)

    For the record, this recipe is punching all my Eastern European buttons in just the right way ~ I’m genetically programmed to adore dill, and I can’t believe I’ve never thought to put it in my coleslaw before. Looks like I’ll be picking up some cabbage and kohlrabi this week…

  4. Ricki said, on August 13, 2011 at 8:17 PM

    I swear, you will make a kohlrabi lover out of me with this idea! I really didn’t enjoy it cooked, but I’m dying to try it raw now. And the photos are just beautiful! But I’m still curious as to why the salad was vetoed! ;)

    Thanks for submitting this to WW this week. Always love your entries!

    • Saveur said, on August 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      Ricki, definitely try it fresh. It is quite sweet and reminds me of raw broccoli, if you like that. It really works well for the slaw. :)

  5. Dawn said, on August 14, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I can’t wait to start getting kohlrabi again. It has been far too long! I love that moist/crisp texture and the slight broccoli flavor. Not too much longer!

  6. DebinHawaii said, on August 14, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    I love the pretty pink color the cherry gives the slaw. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays–it still looks like a winner to me. ;-)

  7. tigerfish said, on August 14, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    Seldom seen a pink slaw or maybe even never? Good one!

  8. foodblogandthedog said, on August 16, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Ok so I’m completely obsessed with Ottolenghi. I think all of his recipes were written especially for me! This one is no different, it’s perfect and the cherries sound divine!!

    • Saveur said, on August 16, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      I agree, I am totally on an Ottolenghi kick! I have another 2 recipes from him that I am dying to share once I finally get the photos off my camera. :)

  9. [...] a neutral palate, cabbage can go into a typical or non-traditional slaw, turn uber sweet after a long braise, bulk up a porridge, add crunch to a salad, or turn Mexican [...]

  10. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide said, on August 17, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    I love how colorful this is. I can almost taste the acidity and feel the crunch.

  11. [...] was testing new recipes for the weekend BBQ, plotting a plan of attack with my Mom, and it all came together [...]

  12. [...] week, my belly needed a rest. After a few Ottolenghi and Cotter recipes, literally bursting with flavour, as well as a potluck dinner that left me in pain, [...]

  13. Ashley said, on September 7, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    I saw Ottolenghi’s Plenty at Costco over the weekend and at first was super excited because I’ve seen so many of his amazing recipes on blogs. But I found the cookbook kind of unapproachable, so didn’t get it. I’m curious why Rob didn’t like this salad yet you love it!

    • Saveur said, on September 12, 2011 at 8:53 PM

      Ottolenghi includes a lot of isoteric ingredients, so I can understand it being a bit overwhelming – and a lot of the recipes are already online, so it is a good cookbook to get from the library. :)

  14. [...] one…a Chinese Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Tofu Followed by an Ottolenghi-inspired dish of Cabbage and Kolrhabi Salad incorporating fresh and dried cherries in season in Ontario. A vegan recipe followed from The [...]

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  16. [...] of my meals taste great (even if Rob doesn’t agree), but here I was, speechless, with a so-so soup. And no lemon to perk it up [...]

  17. [...] Cabbage with Chorizo Seitan Sausage Chinese Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Tofu Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad Mexican Cabbage Stirfry Braised Cabbage with Onions and Carrots Quinoa and Red Lentil Kitchari with [...]

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  19. [...] found here, this recipe melds the flavors of many of the ingredients in your bin this week.  It also adds the [...]

  20. Wendy from Regina said, on August 10, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Hi Janet., I made this salad tonight and we enjoyed it. Thanks for taking the Ottolenghi recipe and modifying it a bit. I find he uses too much oil for my tastes. This was my first time I’ve had kohlrabi!!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on August 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Hi Wendy, Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it. I usually trim his oil down a lot. Not only does it not need it, too much oil doesn’t taste very good either.


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