This kohlrabi and pear salad, made with crisp raw kohlrabi, ripe pear, mixed greens, and a salty sour soy and lime dressing, is an easy, surprising, healthy salad.
This kohlrabi and pear salad is an undeniable example of how the most unexpected combinations of ingredients can yield the most spectacular of results. Crisp kohlrabi, ripe pear, mixed greens, and a pleasantly sour soy and lime dressing collide here to create a crunchy, mildly sweet, surprising, and uniquely satisfying side dish.–Angie Zoobkoff
Kohlrabi and Pear Salad
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free)
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
For the kohlrabi and pear salad
- 3 tablespoons untoasted sesame seeds
- 3 to 4 cups salad greens such as mixed greens, romaine, or Boston lettuce
- 1 about 7 oz kohlrabi peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 about 7 oz pear such as Bartlett, Anjou, or Asian, cut into 3/4-inch (18-mm) dice or thinly sliced
Make the dressing
- In a small jar with a lid, combine the oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and agave. Screw on the lid and shake well to combine.
Make the kohlrabi and pear salad
- In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate.
- Arrange the salad greens, kohlrabi, and pear on a platter or individual plates. Drizzle with the dressing and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This kohlrabi and pear salad is a beautiful pairing of crisp and slight sweetness. It comes together quickly and is easily prepared just before serving.
With a bed of baby or spring lettuce underneath, this is a beautiful salad to either assemble on a large platter or on individual plates for a dinner party. It’s also a great reminder of how weird-looking vegetables like kohlrabi can be elegant and simply prepared. Using an Asian pear elevates this salad to special occasion status.
If you prepare the dressing ahead, you’ll want to whisk it again before drizzling, and I would suggest tasting before adding the agave and adjusting to your own taste, taking into consideration how sweet the pears are. I made this with and without the agave, and personally didn’t miss the extra sweetening.
I made this twice: first a d’Anjou pear and second with an Asian pear. I also played with thin slices versus slightly thicker slices of pear. Sliced thinly, more like shaved, the slices of pear and kohlrabi were silken and not really crisp. The d’Anjou pear (as any pear, really) adds so much sweetness it took any edge off the salad when combined with the slightly sweet flavor of kohlrabi which is like broccoli stems (in a really good way) and with the dressing was on the edge of too sweet.
It served 2 as a main but would serve 4 to 6 if part of a multi-course meal.
A friend had given us a purple kohlrabi from their garden. We used part of the kohlrabi (7 ounces to match the weight of the pear) and sliced it and a Bosc pear paper thinly and then into irregular rectangles. We used romaine lettuce once and Boston lettuce for another version of this salad. Both are delicious and we will certainly make this again.
The dressing comes together in 3 minutes. We used a mixture of white and black sesame seeds. For the soy sauce we used our favorite very special soy sauce: Bluegrass Soy Sauce from Kentucky (yes, from Kentucky).
This salad takes 15 minutes to put together. It served 2 people alongside a sandwich for a meal or 4 as a first course.
Originally published August 25, 2019