Yid.Dish: “Coolrabi:” Yeah, I said it.

By Liz Lawler

Published April 27, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The Undercover Vegetarian hummed softly to herself as she snipped and set aside the kohlrabi greens. They were to be roasted like kale and served up still crispy and warm. Humble Husband, skittish around root vegetables, eyed the proceedings warily. “Are those onions? Those look like onions. You know how I feel about those.” Shifting from one foot to the other, he seemed determined to underscore his discomfort, lest she think this experiment was welcome. The Celeriac Debacle of 2007 had left an indelible mark on the family, and the spirit of culinary adventure had been slow to return….

This was not the family’s first foray into kohlrabi country. A few weeks before, she had chopped and roasted a few bulbs to serve along side an omelet. When asked his opinion of the dish, her husband had only replied with a question of his own: “Are these healthier than potatoes? Is that why we’re eating them?”

Two Foot Tyrant, their toddler, had flatly rejected the offering, recoiling after the first bite and clamping his mouth shut against the onslaught. To bring his point home, he had laid behind the dining room table, playing dead in the hopes that the woman would simply lose interest. Indeed, the dish had amounted to a heaping bowl of “m’eh.” Clearly not a decisive win for kohlrabi, but not a total defeat either.

She was upping the anti with this raw kohlrabi slaw. It was simple enough: soak a handful of raisins in couple of tablespoons of sherry vinegar for a half and hour. In the meantime, peel three kohlrabi bulbs using a pairing knife. Make this a moving meditation, take care in working your way around each nub in the flesh. The topography of this member of the brassica family demands careful and precise movement.

Shred up the denuded bulbs and roughly chop some walnuts (and fistful will do ya) to add some crunch. Now, mix the shredded veg and walnuts in with the raisins and give it all a good toss. Add a heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise (substitute veganaise, if desired), some salt and pepper and stir thoroughly to coat.

What does it all amount to? Well, basically coleslaw. But a peppery and refreshing one at that, one whose flavor slid under the radar of some very picky eaters. Humble Husband ate it happily, and Two Foot Tyrant seemed tickled by the tang of the dressing. The crispy greens were a hit as well. The committee voted and added kohlrabi to the narrow repertoire of veggies allowed in the house. Undercover Vegetarian jubilated quietly; it was a small but decisive step towards a balanced diet. As she tidied up for the night, she pondered her next move. Did she dare propose a summer squash?


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?








You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:













We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.