Kohlrabi is a funny looking vegetable for sure, a little spaceshiplike turnip thing growing above ground, in green or purple, with leaves sprouting out of a smooth baseball-sized round stalk. It is a member of the cabbage family, and the leaves and the enlarged stalk both are good to eat. We harvested our first ones this week.
We grew them one other year, but I didn’t pick them in time, and the bulbish part was tough and woody. This year, I harvested them when they were about three inches in diameter. You can cook the greens as you would collards or kale and treat the bulb like turnips or broccoli stalks. I can just hear some of you saying, “I hate turnips and throw out broccoli stalks.”
I don’t blame you. Plainly boiling or steaming either is going to be a major snore. This is a time to think experimentally and less in terms of actual recipes than ways of incorporating kohlrabi into other vegetable dishes.
Raw kohlrabi is going to work like any raw root vegetable: grate it into coleslaw, add it to salad, slice it into rounds or cut it into sticks to add to the raw vegetable platter with carrots, celery, broccoli, radishes and others with dips.
Steam it and mash it together with potatoes seasoned any you like. Add it to stir-fries. Cube and steam it to mix with cooked beets in beet salad. And I always say, “When in doubt, roast it.”
I don’t peel them unless the skin is tough, which it may be at the top and at the base of some of the leaves.
Why bother eating kohlrabi at all? Most of us need to eat more vegetables anyway, and this nice veggie has protein and fiber and is obligingly low in carbohydrates. Mainly, it tastes good and it is fun to have something different once in a while.
1 to 2 pounds fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, diced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
Salt and Pepper
Rice wine or malt vinegar (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl and then spread on a roasting pan so there is a single layer of vegetable. Alternatively, toss the kohlrabi with oil and seasonings on the roasting pan. After about 20 minutes, stir and then stir again after another five to ten minutes. Roast for 30-35 minutes until the vegetable is golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with the vinegar and serve immediately.