Kohlrabi Salad with Radishes and Apples

HOT! It was terribly hot and humid in the city today. On these days, my appetite diminishes. Maybe it’s because I want to feel as light as possible. It’s unbearable even just standing outside. Appetite or not, one must eat.

But what? I stay away from foods that are meaty, hot (temperature) and heavy. A light, cool meal? Salad. Actually, I prefer my salad to have more mix-ins and less leafy greens (or even no leafy greens altogether!). So when I was at the Union Square Greenmarket the other morning and passed by a stand just as they were stocking kohlrabi, the idea sparked. Kohlrabi salad. And at just 75 cents a head, it was a steal! It gets better. Japanese Radishes were $1 a bunch and Winesap apples $1.25 a pound at Migliorelli Farm’s stand. Thus, this recipe was created.

The crunchy sweetness of the kohlrabi mixed with the tangy crisp apples and the spicy bite of the radish cools and awakens you from the funk of the heat. The nutty aromatics of the sesame oil combined with the tartness of vinegar and slight heat from the chili are great fragrant complements to the salad. But to get the best experience with this dish, it must be cooled in the fridge before you eat it. Now all this talk makes me want more. Good thing the farmer’s market is back on Friday.


  1. To prepare the kohlrabi, with a sharp knife cut off the branches. Peel off the skin either using a vegetable peeler or a knife.
  2. Cut the kohlrabi, radishes and peeled apple either with a knife or a mandolin.
  3. Mix together the rest of the ingredients, which are for the dressing.
  4. Toss all the salad ingredients together and chill in refrigerator before serving.

Cook’s Notes

Preparing the kohlrabi can be tricky since the skin is a bit waxy. You’ll get a better grip on the skin with a serrated knife. I started peeling the skin off with a vegetable peeler and found it difficult. It was much easier shaving the top layer off using a knife – similar to how you’d cut the rind off melons.

It’s much faster to cut the vegetables and apple using a mandoline. Plus, the end result looks nice since all the pieces are uniform. We cut the kohlrabi and apple in half before using it on the mandoline. I use mine (Progressive International HGT-11 Folding Mandoline Slicer, $20 at Amazon) all the time! It saves a lot of time in the prep work.

We opted for Winesap apples since they’re one of our favorites. They’re crisp, sweet and tangy. But baseline, any crisp apple, like Fuji or Empire, works perfectly well! No Red or Golden Delicious – they’re too mealy.