Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Root Veggie Coleslaw

Okay, so maybe kohlrabi isn't a root vegetable -- it's actually the swollen stem that we eat, and in this recipe I chop up some of the smaller leaves as well. I'm sure there are some other inaccuracies I was unintentionally promoting, most likely involving my Spanish translations of the two recipes I made at the 14&U farmers' market earlier today.

It was the day we were to have a group of Spanish-speaking families touring the market as part of the second year of the Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program pilot in DC, and I did my darndest to translate things as best I could. Seriously, though, what do you do when a language doesn't have a name for a vegetable because the culture speaking that language doesn't have people who tend to grow or eat it? I continue to refer to kale as "col rizada" -- "curly cabbage" -- and determined that the closest I could find to the Spanish word for kohlrabi was "colinaba" -- which, when I translated it back into English from Spanish online came up as either "kohlrabi" or "turnip." Well, I suppose salad turnips could be delicious in the coleslaw I was handing out.

Since I ran out of the copies of the English language version of this latest favorite recipe, and a number of shoppers at this morning's market begged me to post it, I needed to get this recipe up asap.

For your root -- and other veggie -- tasting pleasure, here's the much sought after recipe for a killer summer coleslaw.


1 large kohlrabi, peeled and grated (you can chop up some of the leaves as well)
1 tsp salt
3 TBSP mayonnaise
2 TBSP sour cream
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP vinegar
1 TBSP sugar
2 tsp celery seed (or finely chopped celery)
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (or 1 garlic scape, finely chopped)
2 carrots, grated
1 bunch radishes, grated or thinly sliced*


In a small bowl, combine the grated kohlrabi with salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, oil, vinegar, sugar, and celery seed.

Squeeze the grated, salted kohlrabi to remove any excess water.

Stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, radishes, and kohlrabi. (It’s okay to use your hands to mix!)

Enjoy as a cool salad alongside grilled meat or fish, as a sandwich topping, or as a midday snack.

*You can also grate other veggies in. Cabbage, for a more traditional coleslaw, perhaps, or beets -- but beware they will turn everything pink. Or salad turnips... you know, the other colinaba. ;)

Many thanks to my friend and colleague, Carolyn, for giving me the basic recipe for the slaw (that I then took in directions she might not have foreseen).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Opening day!

When your colleague shows up with a giant bunch of balloons spilling out of her truck, you know it's going to be a good day at work. So it went for opening day of the much-anticipated Suitland Farmers' Market. Perfectly clear, sunny weather, gorgeous fruits and veggies grown by a core group of local farmers, lots of volunteer helpers, and tons of friendly shoppers... not a bad way to start the season. Sure there were some hiccups, but together we made things work.

Barbed wire on the top of the fence popping the balloons? No problem, tie them down lower on the fence.

Times printed incorrectly on the signs? No sweat, use duct tape to write out the correct times over top.

No place to pick up lunch? Well, we are in a food desert -- that's why we're here! -- but you can grab a mediocre sandwich down the block and slice some farmers' market tomatoes and cucumbers on top to jazz it up. How about a handful of local spinach, too, or some chopped up garlic scapes? Maybe some grown a few blocks away?

I'm not going to lie: I was especially excited to see some of the fruits of our labors from what we'd planted with students at Drew-Freeman, but there was plenty of beautiful produce at the traditional farm stands as well. Which is good since quite a few community members and folks at the Census Bureau across the way came to check things out and support the area's first farmers' market in a long, long time. According to Delante, my official record-keeper -- a first-time volunteer who I may have won over forever with a quart of fresh strawberries -- we had upwards of 170 shoppers over the course of the 4-hour market. Not too shabby, all things considered. Most importantly, nearly everyone left with smiles like this one, and similarly loaded shopping bags.

I arrived home last night slightly sunburned, moderately loaded down with fresh produce, and completely exhausted. And proud: we did it!!!