There’s always a green salad with dinner in our house, usually the crunchier the better. If I told you how many hearts of romaine we go through in a week, you’d be unsettled.
This salad, originally published in “Dinner Solved!”, is so heartbreakingly pretty that I always want people to come over just to admire it. And it’s not just easy on the eyes. It’s clean and vibrant and refreshing, and we can plow through the hugest bowl in a matter of minutes.
It came about because a few years back, I was writing an article about surprising salad add-ins, and I decided to list shredded or slivered raw kohlrabi as one of the possibilities. Then I said to myself, “You are so full of it; you’ve never done that in your whole life.” So I bought myself a kohlrabi and sliced it up, and really fell head over heels. It kind of reminded me of a daikon radish, crisp with just a hint of spiciness.
Peel the kohlrabi thoroughly with a sharp knife ‚Äî the skin is too thick for a vegetable peeler to have much effect.
A handful of pea shoots on top of the salad adds a fresh sweet-pea-ness that’s lovely, but don’t skip the salad if pea shoots aren’t available.
LIGHT GREEN CRUNCHY SALAD
Serves 6 as a side dish
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1 small kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled (optional)
10 ribs celery
3 hearts romaine lettuce
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup pea shoots (optional)
If using the kohlrabi, cut it into manageable chunks and then cut those chunks into thick planks, about 1/4-inch thick. Then sliver up those planks into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks (known as a julienne cut). Don’t worry if the slivers aren’t neat and tidy.
Slice the celery crosswise very thinly, and then do the same with the hearts of romaine so that you have thin ribbons of lettuce. Place it all in a serving bowl, along with the kohlrabi.
Whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper in a small bowl (or shake it in a small container with a lid). Toss the vegetables with the dressing and serve, topped with the pea shoots, if desired.