I’m starting to think roasting is the way to go when it comes to cooking any sort of vegetable. Why boil, when you can get such great flavour from the caramelization that happens in the oven? That was my thinking when I came up with this potato salad. Add some kohlrabi pickles, red onion, parsley, toasted cumin and fennel, and a simple vinaigrette and you will never look back at what you once thought potato salad was.
I really love a good crunch as well as some fresh flavours in my potato salad, and you definitely get that with the kohlrabi, onion, and parsley. Kohlrabi pickles…now I realize this is a little obscure, and maybe a bit of a challenge to find. I first tried these at the Light Cellar here in Calgary, and was blown away by how delicious and crunchy they were. Because I’m cheap, I fermented my own. It’s really very easy and worth the bit of time, in my opinion.
In the fall, I did a mixed 10 L crock of cucumbers, carrots, and kohlrabi – along with loads of garlic and some other typical pickling spices. All you need to do is pack your crock with these things, then fill it with salty water. In 3-4 weeks, magical things will have happened to your veg. I’d estimate the number of hours of actual work involved would be about 2, and that includes jarring them. The 10 L crock has lasted us well, we still have some left from when I made these in the fall.
If fermenting your own veg is something you’ve been on the fence about, I say, give it a try! Doing a mixed crock with whole vegetables is a great place to start, because it is so easy! I learned what I need to know from Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation…surely there is some great info available online, too. It’s a good idea to do a bit of reading to make sure you’re following some important steps. Nothing too crazy, just things like sterilizing your jars (dishwasher works), and adding the correct amount of salt. With all of this said, if you can’t-find/don’t-want-to-make kohlrabi pickles, you could definitely substitute a different sort of pickle. Guaranteed it would still be pretty darn delicious.
Now, let me talk about the toasted spices! This is my favourite part, because they smell so darn good as they toast! The aromas begin to release and intensify. Then, you’ll get another aroma bomb when you grind them up which I love doing with a mortar and pestle. The rest of the dressing is simple, and you don’t have to fuss with emulsifying the ingredients in a separate container. You can simply toss everything together with the warm potatoes after they’ve come out of the oven.
Now imagine…you’ve got those golden caramelized potatoes (YUM), fresh onion, parsley, and kohlrabi CRUNCH, acidic YEAH! from the apple cider vinegar and kohlrabi, and don’t forget about the smooth olive oil and hint of warming spices (AHHHHH.).
YUM, CRUNCH, YEAH! AHHHHH.
A wonderful spin on potato salad. Great served warm, room temperature, or cold – making it a great picnic, potluck, or dinner side.
1.5 lbs mini potatoes, halved
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup kohlrabi pickles, diced (see note)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
Preheat oven to 450ºF.
Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread potatoes on to a baking sheet. Roast potatoes until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Toast the caraway and fennel seed in a medium skillet over high heat until aromas are released, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the seeds from heat and place them in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Roughly grind the seeds, leaving some larger bits.
Once potatoes are done roasting, allow them to cool for a few minutes before adding to a large salad bowl. Add fennel and caraway seed, remaining olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, kohlrabi, onion, parsley, and salt to taste. Toss to combine.
Can be served immediately while warm, room temperature, or cold.
Kohlrabi pickles…I’m talking about kohlrabi that is fermented to achieve a pickle-like flavour. These are very easy to make, although take some patience (3-4 weeks). I only know of one place that sells them, the Light Cellar in Calgary. You could definitely substitute a different sort of pickle, but it wouldn’t be quite the same. Kohlrabi pickles have a marvellous crunch are fairly neutral tasting which allows the spices, garlic, etc. used during fermentation to shine through.
Keywords: salad, potato, kohlrabi, fermented, parsley, onion, caraway, fennel, picnic, potluck, side, healthy, quick, easy, lunch, dinner