Pressed ham, quince jam and kohlrabi sounds like a nightmare-ish combination to me, but that’s what the chefs had to start out with tackling on last week’s episode of Chopped Canada. I didn’t really want to spam this site with a pressed ham recipe (see what I did there?), so decided for a more vegetable-forward route instead. Growing up, kohlrabi was always something my mom planted in our garden. I’m not sure if we as kids liked it so much for the taste or just because it had a ‘cool’ name. Whatever the case, kohlrabi is no stranger to my kitchen and there are a few different ways you can enjoy it! First, when it comes to preparing these guys, you’ll find that the skin of the vegetable is very tough. Instead of getting frustrated with a small vegetable peeler, it’s a lot easier to slice off the top and the bottom of a kohlrabi and use your knife, working from top to bottom to remove the layer. As far as root vegetables go, kohlrabi is fairly light and crunchy. If you’ve never tried this vegetable before, it tastes somewhat like a sweet, milder turnip (which I realise may not be a selling feature for everyone out there!). The sweetness of kohlrabi comes out even more when it’s roasted, but I like to eat it raw, thinly sliced in a salad during the summertime. If you’re barbecuing this week, try the vinaigrette on some potatoes or corn-on-the-cob. I mean really, what doesn’t go well with bacon?
Kohlrabi and Nectarine Salad with Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette
Total cook time: 10 minutes
Smoked bacon vinaigrette ingredients:
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 slices double smoked bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1 teaspoon caper juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons liquid honey
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 kohlrabi, peeled, thinly sliced and matchsticked
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 nectarine, de-stoned and sliced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
1. Heat the canola oil on medium heat until hot.
2. Add half of the diced bacon to the pan and cook until crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
3. Remove bacon from pan and set aside for now.
4. Add remaining bacon and garlic to pan and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Transfer to a blender or food processor with all ingredients except for the oil and pulse a few times to form a chunky paste.
6. Continue to pulse while slowly pouring in oil until emulsified.
7. Pour into a small bowl and stir in the crispy bacon.
8. Set aside until ready to serve.
1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into large bowl.
3. Toss until salad is well-coated. To serve, portion out salad onto 4 plates and finish with a couple spoonfuls of bacon vinaigrette.
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.