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Refreshing Kohlrabi and Japanese Turnip Salad (autoimmune paleo)


Here in Florida, the farmer's markets have been in full swing recently, with a huge variety of gorgeous produce for sale. While speaking to one of the farmers I buy from frequently, he convinced me to build a salad from the Japanese turnips and arugula he was selling.

I knew I needed to add some other flavors to make it a complete meal, so I browsed the market for more ideas. I picked up some kohlrabi, cucumbers, and cilantro.

If you have never eaten kohlrabi (also known as a German turnip), you are in for a treat! The whole odd-looking plant is edible. I like to saute the greens just like any other leafy green.

The root must be peeled before eating, but my microplane peeler makes quick and easy work of that! You can eat it raw or cook it (roasting and saute/stir fry are my two favorite ways to cook it). 

Japanese turnips are smaller and more tender than the more-familiar purple-topped variety that you're probably used to. They have a delightful crunch and taste delicious raw, with a flavor that is kind of like a cross between a purple-topped turnip and a radish. 

To round out my salad and make it a complete meal, I added a few things I couldn't buy from the market: avocado, shallots, and smoked wild salmon. An Asian-inspired dressing seemed to fit it perfectly, so I mixed up something based on coconut aminos, fresh lemon juice, and ginger. 

Shredded carrots would also make a fantastic addition to this salad -- I would have used them if I had any on hand!

This refreshing salad has a wonderful earthy, pungent flavor and is a great way to increase the variety in the fresh produce that you are eating. Dr. Wahls recommends that we try to consume 200 different plant species in a year, which is nearly impossible if you don't branch out and try new and different things from your local farmers!


Refreshing Kohlrabi and Japanese Turnip Salad (paleo, AIP modification)

Recipe by Amanda Torres @ The Curious Coconut

This easy salad can be made with fresh produce from your Fall or Winter farmer's market.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: n/a

Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 meal-sized salads

Ingredients for the salad

  • 1 cup kohlrabi root, peeled and diced (about 1/2 a large root)
  • 2 cups cucumbers, diced or thinly sliced (about 4-6 small cucumbers)
  • 1 cup Japanese turnips, diced or thinly sliced (about 8 small)
  • 2 or 3 shallots, diced
  • handful fresh cilantro, minced

For the dressing

To make a meal, serve with:

  • hass avocado (I use 1/2 avocado per meal)
  • arugula (I use about 2 cups per meal)
  • smoked wild-caught salmon (I use about 2-3 oz per meal)


  1. Remove greens from kohlrabi and Japanese turnips and reserve for another use (saute them in your favorite cooking fat with some fresh garlic for an easy side dish). Peel kolrabi with a vegetable peeler and then dice. You can either dice or thinly slice the Japanese turnips. Add to a large bowl.
  2. Rinse cucumbers and dice or thinly slice. Peel and dice shallots. Mince cilantro. Add all three to bowl with kohlrabi and Japanese turnips and toss to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine.
  4. Serve atop a bed of arugula and garnish with avocado and smoked salmon as desired (I use about 2 cups of arugula, half a hass avocado, and 2-3 ounces of salmon for a meal).
  5. Store leftover salad in an air-tight container for up to 2-3 days after preparing.

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