“Yarrrrowlgrrrr~!” That’s tummy-speak for: “It’s seriously time for a change in seasons in the kitchen!” Much to hubby’s and my own tummies’ dismay, mother nature doesn’t seem to have read the memo yet. Well, actually, the winter-(food)-blues isn’t all that bad just yet, but the idea of Spring, fresh veggies, berries and, most of all, our regions fresh asparagus is starting to dig serious roots into our subconscious these days.
But… there’s still quite some time to go until that particular gem of Spring is headed our way, so the only way forward seems to be twisting our all-year-round friends into a lively and fresh dish and… twiddle our culinary thumbs for just a little bit longer. This one, usually a perfect, refreshing candidate for a hot-summer spread or BBQ, has proven to be a wonderful way to bridge the seasonal gap and soothe the occasional food funk while we’re stuck between Winter and Spring like this. As an added side-benefit, a good dose of a fresh and fizzy salad like this one does set a great foundation for a few more servings of wintery comfort food. Memo #2 to Mother Nature: Emphasis on “few”~!
Here’s what you’ll need for 2 main dishes or 4 starter-sized portions:
The Kohlrabi, Apple & Mint Salad
150g Fennel, very thinly shaved into almost see-though slices
150g Braeburn Apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced or julienned
150g Kohlrabi, peeled and very thinly sliced or julienned
1 Small Red Onion, very thinly sliced into half-moons
Alt: 1 Bunch of Chives, very finely chopped
4-6 Sprigs of Mint, leaves finely sliced
1 Small Garden Cucumber, peeled, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Herbed Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Elderflower Syrup
½ Lemon, Juice and Zest
Freshly cracked Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste
One of the signature perks of a salad like this is the simple fact that, once the knife work is done, all that’s missing is a bit of time for the dressing to works its magic. So, here’s the long version of the chicken scratch reading “mix, chill, taste” beneath the list of ingredients in my infamous notebook.
1) Place the sugar, herbed salt, vinegar, syrup, lemon juice and zest and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
2) Whisk the lot until the sugar has dissolved, then add the veggies, apple slices and herbs.
3) Gently fold everything together until all of the crunchy bits are evenly glossed over with the dressing.
4) Cover the bowl with clingfilm, place it in the fridge and give the salad some R&R for 1-2 hours.
5) Since the fennel and apple with have added some of their own to the dressing, go through the usual taste-and-adjust routine just before serving and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and/or lemon juice.
6) Carefully give the lot another round through the dressing, then plate up immediately.
By the way, today’s round of this salad was accompanied by a juicy, grainy dark bread topped off with the results of us locust’ing a new cheese stand on the farmer’s market last weekend and a jar of my Apricot-Rosemary & Barberry Chutney (You can find the recipe here). Right now, just writing about it, I can see a repeat of the whole shindig in the very near future… mmmh~!