Cooling Kohlrabi and Apple Salad

IMG_3491This crunchy salad is dressed with yogurt, mint and tangy Middle Eastern seasonings.  There is something very familiar about this salad, but it took me a while to place it.

I have mentioned before that I spent my early childhood in a house with no junk food.  When I was little (kindergarten) I attended a birthday party where chips with onion dip were served and it really captured my fancy.  At home, I had the idea to make “dip” from yogurt for raw vegetables.  I took some plain yogurt from the fridge and climb up onto the counter.  I went through every bottle in the spice cabinet and smelled it to see if it was  kind of spice that went in baking or the kind of spice that went in dip.  I tipped a small amount of every savory smelling spice into my yogurt.  The only spice that gave me trouble was cayenne pepper, which did not have any smell (maybe it was old?) so I tasted it!   I might not even remember this story except that I can vividly recall sitting on my kitchen counter eating cayenne pepper and crying so loud that I woke my mother up.  My mother did not get angry with me.  Once she dealt with my burning mouth, she praised me for my cleverness and for my delicious yogurt dip.  Yogurt dip, became a favorite snack for a few years and this salad reminds me of it.

The overall effect of this salad is very cooling.  I’ve been eating a lot of Spicy Chick Pea Pancakes and Salmon Marinated in Indian Spices and Yogurt food lately and this salad is a good substitute for raita, which I am not a fan of.  It is adapted from Saveur and the original recipe uses watercress, which is a nice combination since cress is quite spicy.  It is also good on peppery Arugula.

Mostly though, I have been eating beside spicy food as a very healthy variation on coleslaw.  It is just as satisfying as real coleslaw, but it  does not involve mayonnaise.  Let me be clear, I love mayonnaise (well home-made mayonnaise).  I’m just saying that this is very good too…and it does not have any egg or oil.  If you are looking for a kohlrabi slaw that uses mayonnaise, click here.

COOLING  KOHLRABI AND APPLE SALAD

adapted from Saveur

  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and cut into match sticks
  • 1 cup plain yogurt ( I use whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground sumac (or more to taste)
  • A pinch of toasted cumin, ground (this is my addition and is totally optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper taste

Combine everything in a bowl, taste it and adjust the seasoning.  Chill until it’s time to eat.  Serve it on top of peppery greens  and/ or with Salmon Marinated in Indian Spices and Yogurt or Spicy Chickpea Pancakes.

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