Kohlrabi with elderflower and gooseberry

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 30 minutes plus at least 1 week for the butter to infuse
Not yet rated

Kohlrabi is served two ways in this interesting summer starter recipe from Sam Buckley. Wedges of salt-baked kohlrabi are topped with very lightly cured raw slices of the vegetable. The dish is brought together with a delicious elderflower butter sauce and sharp, fresh gooseberries.

First published in 2021

Sam says: 'I love the idea of this dish because what we are essentially doing is holding one ingredient in stasis whilst we wait for another to naturally ripen. When the gooseberries are ready to pick we pair them with the preserved elderflower to make a light and summery dish of early season kohlrabi. This dish was one of the first times I began to think about a wider context to food, going beyond seasonal cookery. The processes of food preservation are just as important to ensure we have the flavours and nutrients needed throughout the year, as opposed to relying on food being shipped from other climates or artificially heated growing systems.'




Elderflower butter

Salt-baked kohlrabi

Elderflower and gooseberry sauce

  • 60ml of white wine
  • 25g of gooseberry juice
  • white wine vinegar, to taste
  • salt

To serve


  • Mandoline
  • Steamer



Begin by making elderflower butter when the elderflowers are in season (April-May in the UK). Combine the elderflower heads with the butter using an electric beater or a fork. Transfer to a jar and set aside in the fridge for at least a week. The longer the flowers heads are in with the butter the stronger the flavour, but it will be at its best at around 6 weeks


When you’re happy with the flavour of the butter, make a salt dough. Place the flour into a bowl with the salt. Slowly add the water bit by bit whilst stirring with a fork. Once a dough has formed, tip out onto a work surface and knead into a smooth dough

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 125ml of water, (you may not need it all)
  • 25g of table salt

Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4


Roll out the dough to about ½cm thick then use it to wrap up the kohlrabi. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Leave to cool in the salt crust, then peel and cut into bite-sized pieces


Peel the second kohlrabi and use an electric slicer or a mandoline to create the thinnest slices possible. 10 minutes before serving, sprinkle the sheets liberally with salt and leave to cure


To make the sauce, place the wine in a pan and reduce by half, then pour in the gooseberry juice. Heat gently and begin to add 110g of the elderflower butter piece by piece, whisking all the time until you have a sauce with a beurre blanc consistency. Pass through a fine sieve, then season with salt and a little white wine vinegar

  • 60ml of white wine
  • 25g of gooseberry juice
  • white wine vinegar, to taste
  • salt

To plate, reheat the kohlrabi pieces in a steamer until hot, then arrange in a small bowl and spoon over some of the sauce. Drape over the cured kohlrabi sheets and finish with some finely sliced gooseberries

With an arsenal of innovative experimental preserves, his own rooftop kitchen garden and relationships with the best producers in the UK, Sam Buckley works with his team in the airy open kitchen to create multi-course tasting menus of pure magic at his Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In.

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