recipe

Credit: Photographed remotely by Earl Carter

Roasted autumn vegetables and kohlrabi slaw

My vegetable garden is a little like a good vinaigrette – about three quarters happiness and one quarter consternation. The consternation is like the acidic component of the vinaigrette – absolutely essential, as it balances the fullness and the softness of the oil, but on its own it can range from piquant to a little too sharp.

The happiness comes in many forms. Researching and choosing seeds is like being a kid in a lolly shop. What varieties will I grow this season? What have I tried before and not liked? Which micro greens? Which heading lettuces? Which tomatoes? The problem is there are so many to choose from.

Once the seeds are delivered and planted I eagerly await the results. The salad greens are the quickest to emerge. It is one of my great delights to mix and match different small salad greens that can make a perfect accompaniment to rich dishes such as double-baked cheese soufflés. A couple of years ago I selected a salad green labelled “pink sprouting kale”. It grew beautifully, was delicious as a very small leaf, but was not terribly pleasant once it got a bit bigger, as it was a bit tough and stringy. It was even worse on the second cut. This was not really an acceptable result. I need to get at least two cuts from each salad row and have the option of using them as bigger leaves, either cooked or raw. With some consternation, poor old “pink sprouting kale” was deemed a failure.

That row of kale was ignored while all its successful friends were being harvested and harvested again. But then something miraculous happened. The plants formed bulb shapes above the ground, started to flourish, and transmogrified into kohlrabi. When we harvested and tasted the first one, it was absolutely delicious. Crisp, sweet, juicy – a little like biting into a savoury apple. Having never explored the idea of growing kohlrabi, I was smitten.

In these two recipes I take the same three vegetables, roast one selection and turn the other into coleslaw.

It showcases the beautiful white flesh of my kohlrabi, the verdant green of my vertus/savoy cabbage and the deep pink and white of my watermelon radishes. If you can’t get watermelon radishes, use standard ones or turnips.

Roasted autumn vegetables

Serves 4

– 1 large or 2 small kohlrabi, peeled and cut into wedges

– ½ small savoy cabbage, cut into wedges

– 4 watermelon radishes, cut in half or quarters depending on the size

– olive oil

– 100ml Greek yoghurt

– 50ml mayonnaise (Kewpie is fine)

– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

– 1 shallot, very finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, crushed

– 2 tbsp dill, chopped

– 1 tbsp parsley, chopped

– 1 tbsp chives, chopped

Heat the oven to 180ºC.

Put the kohlrabi wedges, cabbage and radish in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil, season well and cook for 40 minutes or until the wedges are tender.

To make the dressing, whisk the yoghurt, mayonnaise and vinegar together. Stir in the shallot and garlic followed by some of the dill, parsley and chives. Spoon the dressing over the vegetables and scatter with the remaining herbs.

Kohlrabi slaw

Serves 4

– ½ savoy cabbage, shredded

– 125ml red wine vinegar

– 1 tbsp white sugar

– 1 heaped tsp salt flakes

– 1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into a julienne

– 4 watermelon radishes, thinly sliced

– salt and pepper

– 100ml Greek yoghurt

– 50ml mayonnaise (Kewpie is fine)

– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

– 1 shallot, very finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, crushed

– 2 tbsp dill, chopped

– 1 tbsp parsley, chopped

– 1 tbsp chives, chopped

Arrange the shredded cabbage in a large serving bowl.

Place the vinegar and an equal amount of water in a medium saucepan with the sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the kohlrabi and radish, remove from the heat and cool. Strain and add to the cabbage. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

To make the dressing, whisk the yoghurt, mayonnaise and vinegar together. Stir in the shallot and garlic followed by the some of the dill, parsley and chives.

Drizzle the dressing over and scatter with the remaining herbs.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 23, 2020 as "Harvest boon".

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Annie Smithers is the owner and chef of du Fermier in Trentham, Victoria. She is a food editor of The Saturday Paper.