Part bulb, part bundle of greens, kohlrabi may seem one of the more intimidating items that you find in your box, but it offers a delightful combination of familiar tastes. "It’s got the texture of a radish and the sweetness of jicama, with a slight hint of broccoli," says food editor Sarah Carey. "The edible leaves are like a milder version of collards." Along with other cruciferous vegetables, kohlrabi is member of the brassica clan and is packed with vitamin C and potassium. Kohlrabi means cabbage turnip in German and it was a key staple in eastern Europe until the potato became popular.
Kohlrabi improves energy circulation and eases stagnancy. It helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
Kohlrabi goes well with white sauces, tomatoes, cream, cheese, chives and parsley. It is usually peeled, unless it is very small, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Common uses include...
- shredded in salads or coleslaw
- raw and sliced thin for a vegetable tray
- steamed and served with butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
- or stir-fried, baked, braised, roasted, added to soups, etc.
Cut off leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel, and place in a plastic bag. Leaves can be refrigerated for three to four days; the bulb for several weeks.
Very thinly sliced, unpeeled kohlrabi
Toss kohlrabi with olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat. Bake at 250 degrees, rotating sheet, until crisp and deep golden, 35 minutes to 1 hour; transfer chips as they're done to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt.
Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream
- Cubes of peeled kohlrabi
- Thinly sliced white onion
- Unsalted butter
- Finely shredded kohlrabi leaves
- Heavy cream
- Salt and pepper
- Grated nutmeg
Cook kohlrabi and onion in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender. Stir in kohlrabi leaves, and cook until wilted. Add a generous splash of heavy cream, and cook for a few seconds to reduce. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve with chicken, pork chops, or steak.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Shredded Kohlrabi
1 3/4 ounces thin rice sticks
6 ounces marinated tofu, cut in dominoes 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 pound kohlrabi, peeled and shredded (make sure to remove fibrous layer just under the skin before shredding)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon ginger, cut in julienne
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 14 sprigs
2 tablespoons slivered Thai basil or mint leaves, plus 7 to 14 leaves
7 8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers
1. Place the rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are pliable, and drain. Transfer the noodles to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half, into roughly 6-inch lengths. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.
2. Meanwhile, toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the carrot, ginger, chopped cilantro and slivered Thai basil or mint.
3. One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tofu slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tofu, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro and a Thai basil leaf or a couple of mint leaves on top. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: To make a quick dipping sauce, whisk together 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of the tofu marinade. Thin out as desired with more marinade or with water.
Yield: 7 spring rolls (4 to 5 inches long).
Advance preparation: These will keep for a day in the refrigerator.
Fridge Pickled Kohlrabi and Carrots
This recipe makes one quart of pickles.
4 small kohlrabi
2 large carrots
2 T salt
1 C white vinegar
1 C water
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t pickling or kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 t dill seeds
1/2 t brown mustard seeds
2 dried chili de arbol
6 black pepper corns, crushed
Start by peeling and slicing the kohlrabi. Place in a colander and salt with 2 T salt. Allow the kohlrabi to sit for an hour. In the mean time peel your carrots and cut into sticks. Combine all other ingredients in a sauce pan. When kohlrabi is done draining, rinse and pack with carrots into a quart jar. Boil remaining ingredients until all of the salt and sugar are dissolved and pour over carrots and kohlrabi. Cover and allow to cool on the counter then refrigerate. Let this sit in the fridge for two days before jumping in. I read that fridge pickles are good for about three weeks.
*This recipe calls for a lemon dill yogurt sauce...also yummy with a creamy avocado sauce!
1 medium to large size kohlrabi
1 red or yellow onion
1/2 cup all purpose flour (or gluten free all purpose or whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil for frying
Using a food processor with a grating disk, grate the kohlrabi and onion. You’ll need 3 cups, so if your kohlrabi is on the small side add more onion or another vegetable. If your kohlrabi is on the larger side, reduce the amount of onion. Wrap the kohlrabi in a clean dish towel and squeeze as much water out as you can. Transfer the kohlrabi to a mixing bowl, and combine with remaining ingredients.
Heat a thin layer of oil over medium high heat in a cast iron skillet. Pan-fry kohlrabi in 1/4 cup scoops, about 2 minutes per side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with desired sauce or Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce.
Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
Combine yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl. Mix to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste.