Cooking with kohlrabi

Kohlrabi celery root tangerine salad

You can't shake a stick in a farmers' market without hitting kohlrabi. Relatively unknown until just a few years ago, kohlrabi is the darling of the local and sustainable movement because it is easy to grow and versatile to use. If you're not sure how to make the best of it, indexed magazine Bon Appétit has tips on buying and cooking with kohlrabi.

The first tip: size matters. Look for the smallest kohlrabi because the smaller the bulb, the sweeter it is. Try to buy kohlrabi with the leaves attached, because you can see how fresh it is by how good the leaves look. Speaking of leaves, they are edible too. "Chiffonade them finely and toss them in a vinaigrette, or give them a rough chop and either steam or sauté them, as you would collard greens or kale."

The bulbs can be served raw or cooked, but make sure to peel them first. There is no difference in flavor between the green and red varieties, and the inner flesh is the same for both, so color is not an important factor in choosing kohlrabi. When serving kohlrabi raw, cut them into matchsticks and toss them into a slaw. They also make a great addition to salads and grain bowls.

If you would rather cook the vegetable, you can "treat the bulb as you would any other root vegetable-chop it and roast it until tender, or add it to soups and stews." Try one of these recipes from the EYB Library to get you started:

Kohlrabi-sesame slaw from EAT at The New York Times by Mark Bittman
Roasted caramelized root vegetables from Leite's Culinaria by Maria Helm Sinskey
Kohlrabi remoulade (The Crisper Whisperer) from Serious Eats
Shaved summer veg from River Cottage Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Kohlrabi, celery root, tangerine, and pomegranate salad from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield (pictured above)

1 Comment

  • hillsboroks  on  10/12/2015 at 6:21 PM

    When I was growing up my dad grew Kohlrabi in the garden. As children we loved to eat it raw and as I remember it tasted a lot like the heart of a cabbage which we also liked. But we wouldn't eat it cooked because of the strong flavors that it developed. That may have been because my Midwestern mother cooked all vegetables until she was sure they were dead. Anyways if you are introducing this veggie to children try giving them a bit of the raw veggie first and see how they do.

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