Kohlrabi Waldorf salad from In Praise of Veg
The man widely credited for this iconic salad – Oscar Tschirky, the Waldorf-Astoria’s long-time maître d’hôtel at the turn of the 20th century – deemed it necessary to include the following extremely specific instruction in the original recipe, which is only three sentences long: ‘Be very careful not to let any seeds of the apple be mixed with it.’ I’ve gone one better and scrapped the apple entirely. Kohlrabi’s apple-y shape and sweetness makes it an obvious addition to Oscar’s classic combo, which was originally apple–celery–mayo, but has since had a squillion iterations (probably because the recipe is indeed so vague, besides the bit about the seeds) – including the addition of walnuts, which I deem entirely mandatory, seeing as both celery and kohlrabi love this nut.PRINT
- 2 tbsp currants
- 1 French shallot finely chopped
- ¼ cup chardonnay vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts toasted and finely chopped
- 1 purple kohlrabi small leaves reserved
- 1 celery heart small leaves reserved
- 1 Packham pear thinly sliced
- 3.5 oz red or green grapes or fresh currants bigger ones halved
- 1 bunch of chives cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) lengths
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- juice of 1 lemon
- Place the currants and shallot in a bowl, pour the vinegar over and set aside for 5 minutes to macerate and pickle. Stir in the olive oil and half the walnuts and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, shred the kohlrabi into matchsticks, thinly slice the celery and soak them in a bowl of iced water until ready to serve.
- Drain the kohlrabi and celery, then gently mix the pear through. Stir some of the walnut vinaigrette through, then arrange on a serving plate.
- Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over, then scatter with the grapes, chives, reserved celery and kohlrabi leaves and remaining walnuts.
- Mix the mayonnaise and lemon juice until well combined, drizzle over the salad and serve immediately.
Tip Kohlrabi is seasonal, so if you have a hankering for this salad but no kohlrabi is forthcoming, sub in some extra celery and pear, or green apple if you must.