Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago's popular Girl and The Goat shared this Kohlrabi, Fennel and Blueberry Salad in last month's Food and Wine. It seemed daunting for me to try to replicate Food & Wine's 2011 Best New Chef's recipe, but I was up for the challenge.
Once I got started I thought it could be a failure as I was feeling very apprehensive while preparing. I've never cooked with kohlrabi, but conveniently have it growing in my garden. For a sprawling plant, very little substance was left once removing the leaves and peeling the bulb. I don't own a mandolin, but thinned the potato-like root with a knife the best that I could.
I bought the cheese, fennel, shallot and blueberries from the Green City Market. The mint was growing in my yard.
I made a few changes with the dressing as I didn't have ginger or grapeseed oil. I also used regular balsamic vinegar instead of white. Are they the same besides color?
My photo looked grossly different than Izards, so I was concerned as I prepared myself a plate for lunch. After one bite, I understand why she won Top Chef as her thought to merge these unique flavors is close to brilliant. I'm not a huge fennel fan, but the contrast with the other tastes worked perfectly. The blueberries, nut, cheese and bitter vegetables combined were too much for me to stop eating.
I need to remember this recipe for my next dinner party.
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