Kohlrabi Schnitzel

A lot of my friends and colleagues struggle with deciding on what to make when entertaining non-vegan friends. One way to approach that issue is to think classic comfort food – like this kohlrabi schnitzel…and who doesn’t like a good schnitzel served with a simple steamed potato salad?

Another advantage to plant-based schnitzel is the vegetable can be precooked and the dish can be baked in a hot oven rather than fried – definitely a healthier option for all!

Kohlrabi schnitzel – and all the vegetable alternatives – can be made using gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.

Yield: makes enough for 4-6 servings

  • 2 medium-size kohlrabi

  • 100 grams (about 3 ounces) all-purpose flour (see tips for gf)

  • 20 grams (1 tablespoon) chickpea flour

  • 2 tablespoons egg replacer

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne

  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) water

  • 100 grams (about 3 ounces) breadcrumbs (see tips for gf)

  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Prepare your kohlrabi by peeling them and slicing into 1 ½-cm (1-inch) slices.
  • Bring a pot of water (at least 2 liters – or 2 quarts if you prefer) to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water once it boils – the water should taste a bit like sea water at this point.
  • Add the kohlrabi and cook about 3-4 minutes – the kohlrabi should be just starting to go slightly soft at this point. Remove the kohlrabi to a towel and dry off completely. It pays to work in batches when cooking the kohlrabi – it won’t take too long and they will cook more evenly.
  • Add the flour to a plate and season with freshly ground black pepper. In a small bowl, combine chickpea flour, egg replacer, cayenne and water. Mix well, then season with a bit of salt. The consistency should be that of a whipped up egg. In another plate, mix the breadcrumbs and corn starch together.
  • Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
  • Working with 2-3 pieces of kohlrabi at a time, start by coating each slice of kohlrabi with seasoned flour, then dipping into your egg replacer mixture before ending in the breadcrumbs. Make sure the breadcrumb coating is firmly on the kohlrabi – press it into the vegetable and get an even mixture. Place on a baking paper-lined baking tray. Continue with the remaining slices.
  • Bake in the hot oven for 4-6 minutes per side – the bread crumbs should be golden in color. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and enjoy right away – perhaps with a squeeze of lemon or a quick lemon-mustard-caper sauce (see tips for procedure).

Jack’s Fresh Tip

It really helps to make even slices of the kohlrabi. Use a very sharp knife or something like a mandolin slicer to help you in this process.

You can make this recipe gluten-free by eliminating the dredging flour and using a gluten-free flour mixture. Just use equal portions to substitute. The breadcrumbs are the same story – gluten-free breadcrumbs work perfectly in this recipe.

The egg replacer helps with some binding of the breadcrumbs to the kohlrabi. Just use another 20 grams of chickpea flour in your ‘egg’ dipping mixture.

I think these schnitzel bake beautifully in a hot oven, but it you’re not against it, go ahead and pan-fry them for about 2 minutes per side in a small amount of oil in your preheated pan.

I like to serve these with a lemon, caper and mustard sauce. Just combine ½-tablespoon Dijon-style mustard, salt, pepper, juice of one lemon. Whisk in about 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped capers – just rinse the capers first.

You can use the same procedure to make a lot of variations using different vegetables – celeriac is the most common alternative.

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