Light Green Crunchy Salad

There’s always a green salad with dinner in our house, the crunchier the better. If I told you how many hearts of romaine we go through in a week you’d be unsettled.

Serving Size: 6 as a side dish

Light Crunchy Green Salad

Photo by Todd Coleman

This salad was so heartbreakingly pretty I wanted people to come over just to admire it. So I invited the neighbors. Not only did my kids love it, the two-year-old who used to live down the hall (and who is the cutest thing since sliced kohlrabi) also loved it, and she can’t even say kohlrabi. It’s just so clean and vibrant and refreshing, and we ate the hugest bowl in a matter of minutes.

It came about because 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.

A handful of pea shoots on the top of the salad adds a fresh sweet pea-ness that’s lovely, but don’t skip the salad if pea shoots aren’t on the immediate horizon.

Light Green Crunchy Salad

Print

  • 1 small kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled (optional)
  • 10 ribs celery
  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce
  • 3 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup pea shoots (optional)

1. If using the kohlrabi, cut it into manageable chunks then cut those chunks into thin planks, about ¼ inch thick. Then sliver up those planks into ¼-inch-thick matchsticks (this is what is known as a julienne cut). Don’t worry if the slivers aren’t neat and tidy.

2. Very thinly slice the celery crosswise, 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.

3. You can continue with Step 4 or see the Fork in the Road for an apple add-in.

4. Whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper in a small bowl (or shake it up in a small container with a lid). Toss the vegetables with the dressing and serve, topped with the pea shoots, if desired.

Make Ahead

This salad can be made ahead and refrigerated for an hour. The longer it sits, the more melded the flavors will be, but the less crunch the vegetables will have, so it’s a bit of a toss-up (ba dump bump). I’ve happily eaten it a day or two after it’s been made. You can also make the vinaigrette a couple of days ahead and slice up the vegetables a day ahead, then toss right before serving.

What the Kids Can Do

Slice the lettuce and celery with a kid-friendly knife, mix up the dressing, toss the salad.

Fork in the Road

For another layer of tart crunch, add some green apple slices to a portion or all of the salad.

Crunchy Apple-y Salad

Quarter and core a Granny Smith apple and cut the quarters crosswise into thin slices. Add the slices to the vegetables before adding the dressing or add them to individual portions once the salad is tossed and served.

Kohlrabi: The UFO of Root Vegetables

Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable from the Cruciferae family (broccoli, cabbage, and so on). It is about the size of an orange, with a bunch of stems sticking out and a thick skin that can range from pale green to purple-ish. The leaves, stems, and the bulb itself are all edible (but not the skin), and the smaller ones tend to be more tender and flavorful. Flavorwise, it gets compared to broccoli. Peel kohlrabi very thoroughly with a sharp knife—the skin is too thick for a vegetable peeler to have much effect—and slice, julienne, or grate it into your salad for a great crunch and a fresh but slightly spicy flavor. It can also be cooked: steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or roasted.

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Dinner Solved!

Katie Workman is a gifted cook, a best friend in the kitchen, and a brilliant problem solver. Her Mom 100 Cookbook was named one of the Five Best Weeknight Cookbooks of the past 25 years by Cooking Light and earned praise from chefs like Ina Garten (“I love the recipes!”) and Bobby Flay (“Perfect . …

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