Spiralling Out Of Control

Image of spiraliser with courgette

I swore blind I wouldn’t buy a spiraliser. Who needs one, I sniffed to Him Outdoors, when we’ve got perfectly good knives/vegetable peelers/a mandolin. It’ll just gather dust at the back of a shelf, I said. Knowing my weakness for kitchen gadgets, he merely raised an eyebrow. And sure enough, I cracked.

I have been playing with it all week. Mine’s a bit plastic-y and it needs two hands to operate it, one to turn and the other to anchor it to the work surface (its rubber feet don’t work that well on my chopping block) but its three blades are razor-sharp.

Image of spiraliser blades and results

When you spiralise something you’re left with the core which doesn’t go through the machine and the last bit of whatever you’re processing – what is left over is an odd mushroom-shaped bit which you can use in soups or stocks or which you can get creative with (you’re on your own there).

Image of kohlrabi 'mushroom'

I believe many people use these machines to make what has become known as ‘courgetti’ – a healthy spaghetti look-alike which you usually fry briefly and dress with a suitable sauce – but as Him Outdoors regards courgettes and pasta with equal loathing I bypassed this.

I started – like most people, I suspect – by spiralising the entire contents of the vegetable drawer. Courgettes, yellow and green; radishes; carrots; fat spirals; thin spirals and – er – flat, thin ribbony spirals. The result was a rather boring, directionless salad which because I dressed it too soon collapsed into a mulch.

I also tried spiralising baby fennel bulbs from the garden, which wasn’t very successful because they were too loose. You do need a firm vegetable or fruit for successful spiralising. I ended up slicing the leftovers finely by hand but they were good in a tomato salad with a balsamic dressing.

Image of tomato and fennel salad

My next attempt was rather more successful, a crunchy, punchy kohlrabi remoulade. Kohlrabi are those bulbous aliens you often get in vegetable boxes. They look like a cross between a Sputnik and Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors.

Image of kohlrabi

They taste rather like a very mild radish but prepared raw are pleasingly crisp and fresh and a good vehicle for a strong dressing. If I’d had a crisp, sharp eating apple handy I would have included it in this salad and if you don’t have kohlrabi, try celeriac instead.

Then I rebelled against the whole raw food, healthy eating spiraliser trend and made something that involved starch, fats and protein in abundance – recipe next week.

Kohlrabi Remoulade

  • Servings: 2 as a side dish
  • Print

Image of kohlrabi remoulade


1 small cricket ball sized kohlrabi, peeled

A small handful of smoked bacon lardons, cooked (optional)

1 tspn made English mustard

2 tspn white balsamic vinegar

2 tspn white wine vinegar (or double up on this and add some sugar)

Pinch of salt

Enough extra-virgin olive oil to make a thick emulsion

A small handful of chopped parsley or par-cel

A squeeze of lemon juice if you think the dressing isn’t sharp enough

Image of kohlrabi in spiraliserMethod:

If you’re using the lardons, fry them briefly until they’re cooked and a bit frizzled, blot on kitchen paper and set aside.

Put the mustard in a bowl and whisk in the vinegars, then the oil, until you have a thickish emulsion. Add the chopped herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper and more vinegar or lemon juice if necessary.

Put the kohlrabi through the smallest of the spiraliser blades or cut it into thin matchsticks. Toss it in the dressing, scatter over the lardons, if using, and serve straight away.

10 thoughts on “Spiralling Out Of Control

  1. Hey Linda, how do you know what’s in my vegetable drawer? So, time to get the spiralizer (yes, of course, fellow kitchen gadget addict) out and finish up the kohlrabi. Nice idea, so definitely on our dinner menu tonight! N xx

    • I wouldn’t presume to know the content of your drawers (that sounded more vulgar than I meant it to) but I’m glad you like the recipe! Also that I’m not the only person to succumb to buying a spiraliser! L x

      • Very funny, Linda, I admire a good pun. I am just glad I have a summery dish featuring those two kohlrabi which have been lingering in the fridge since my Mum brought them from her garden. Although I have grown up with kohlrabi (I am German), I could not fathom a dish fit for another heat wave. So glad, you did – and something to use the lovely spiralizer is an added bonus in my book (I am as desperate as this sounds). N xx

    • Honestly? If you have sharp knives, a good grater, a veg peeler and/or a mandolin, I wouldn’t bother – unless you’re really into healthy, raw food a la Hemsley and Hemsley (who endorse a spiraliser brand). Spiralised food does look pretty and it does give an interesting texture to otherwise potentially boring veg but I wouldn’t say a spiraliser is a must-have.

  2. I sooo nearly cracked and bought one but then resisted. I do quite like the idea of courgetti but fear this would end up the way of all my gadgets (mandolin: I’m looking at you). Kohl rabi in a salad is good though, I’ve tried that (in fact that’s why I bought the mandolin, haha).

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