Posts Tagged ‘Kohlrabi’

from The Goodness of Potatoes and Root Vegetables

Servings:  4

3 kohlrabi, peeled
3 medium carrots
4 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch piece of gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1-2 fresh chili peppers, sliced
4 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)

Slice kohlrabi and carrots diagonally into thin, elongated ovals.  Heat peanut oil in wok or large, heavy skillet;  when it begins to smoke, toss in garlic and ginger.  Stir once then add kohlrabi and carrots;  toss and cook two minutes.  Add green onions and chilies;  stir-fry one minute, then pour in 1/2 cup water.  Cover, reduce heat and cook five minutes.  Remove cover and toss in a little salt and the oyster sauce, if using.

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Sauteed Kohlrabi Leaves

from Victory Garden Cookbook

Servings:  3-4

2 pounds kohlrabi stems, with leaves
4-6 tablespoons with butter
salt and fresh ground pepper
lemon juice (optional)

Using only young leaves, wash and de-rib enough leaves to end up with one pound.  Blanc in large pot of boiling, salted water until just wilted, 4-5 minutes.  Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, squeeze dry, and chop.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saute pan.  Add chopped kohlrabi and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until moisture is evaporated.  Add enough butter to coat and cook 5-10 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

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Natural History

Kohlrabi is a relatively unknown vegetable in our country. In the 19th century, it was grown here as cattle feed. In regions such as Holland, Germany, central Europe, Israel, China, and India, kohlrabi is much more valued.

“Distinctive looking” is a mild way to describe the appearance of kohlrabi. Some people call it “sputnik” or “the alien vegetable.” It consists of a ball-shaped bulb, which is actually a swollen part of the stem (not the root), and leaves that jut out of the bulb on all sides. The bulb is crispy, much like a juicy apple. The flavor is sweet and unique, sometimes compared to a combination of its cousins in the Brassica family: turnips, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Kohlrabi shares many of the nutritional characteristics of broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower—its cousins in the Brassica family of vegetables. Anti-cancer phytochemicals are of particular note, and are not destroyed by cooking. Vitamin C is also on top of the nutrient list, as is potassium. One cup of kohlrabi has only 36 calories, and about five grams of fiber.

Kohlrabi is traditionally considered a fall vegetable, but it is good any time! It is especially at its best when it is smaller—young and tender. These younger kohlrabi don’t need to be peeled, but the larger, older bulbs do. There are several different varieties of kohlrabi, and they can be separated into two basic groups: Purple and White. The white kohlrabi are actually a beautiful pale shade of green. The purple kohlrabi are just as gorgeous!

Look for firm bulbs that are unblemished and have fresh looking leaves. If you are storing kohlrabi in the fridge, it’s a good idea to remove the leaves (but keep them for eating!) because they will leach moisture from the bulb. The leaves are tender and will do well in stir-fries or salads. Use them in soups or stews like you would spinach or kale. The leaves can also be fried in a little oil with mustard seeds, garlic, and ginger. To use the bulb, peel the outer layer of skin off larger sized bulbs, but eat the smaller young blubs as-is. Consider the following ideas:

General Cooking Ideas
Raw:  Simply peel the outer layer of skin off (if necessary) with a vegetable peeler and shave it raw over a salad. Combining it with a mellow-flavored lettuce like iceberg, Boston, or romaine and a dressing made with an aggressive vinegar like balsamic or red wine makes an unusual salad. Or toss thinly sliced kohlrabi with finely chopped red onion, some capers and lamb’s lettuce.

Sautéed:  Cut it into thick batons, sauté in butter until slightly softened, tip in a good slug of white wine or chicken stock, and simmer until tender; before serving, stir in some chopped dill or tarragon, and serve alongside a roast.

Steamed:  For a great little side dish to go with grilled chops or oily fish, peel the kohlrabi, cut it into cubes, then steam these lightly until just tender and dress simply with melted butter or olive oil, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkling of chopped parsley, a bit of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Stuffed:  Larger bulbs are quite good stuffed—cut a bit off the base, so it stands flat, and hollow out the insides, leaving thickish shells. Steam or boil for about eight minutes, then fill with a mixture of well-seasoned minced pork and cooked rice. Pop the stuffed veg in a roasting tin with a little stock, and bake in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes.

Quick Stovetop Braise:  Peel and slice the kohlrabi into wedges like an orange. Sauté them lightly in olive oil and then add some water. Cover and cook them until they are tender when pierced with tip of a knife. A squirt of lemon juice and this is a delicious companion for grilled pork chops or fresh salmon.

Oven Roasted:  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Peel and cut the bulbs into thick slices and arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season them with salt and pepper and dot them with either butter or olive oil. Pour a little orange juice in the bottom of the pan and place the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender, adding more orange juice if needed. Alternatively, place the slices in the bottom of a roasting pan underneath a roast beef or chicken so the vegetable gets cooked with the drippings of the meat.

Boiled:  Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Add salt to taste and slices of peeled Kohlrabi. Cook until tender, drain thoroughly and toss directly into a bowl with a sherry or rice wine vinaigrette. Use this opportunity to marinate the kohlrabi overnight in the bowl, if desired, and add some freshly chopped parsley or chives before serving cold (or heated up) the next day. 

Fall Vegetable Mix:  Try a vegetable that you don’t eat often! Cut a few peeled turnips (or peeled rutabaga), a few whole red radishes and some peeled celery root (or parsley root) or peeled squash into relatively similar-sized pieces. Toss together with salt and pepper and roast them all together in the oven together with a touch of sea salt, ground pepper, and a sprinkle of sugar. Roast until tender and serve as a side dish. Alternatively, roast until “mushy” and purée with a vegetable stock or cream to make an interesting soup.

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Crunchy Red Devils

from A. Doncsecz, Vegetarian Gourmet, Spring 1994

Servings:  3-4

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup hot red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 medium kohlrabi bulbs

Whisk together all ingredients except kohlrabi with 1/2 cup water.  Peel and thinly slice kohlrabi;  stir into marinade, coating evenly.  Cover and refrigerate 2-3 days, stirring occasionally.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Sauteed Kohlrabi

from Oak Ridge Farm, adapted from The Cook’s Garden Cookbook

Servings:  2-4

2 or 3 kohlrabi
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or light oil
1 tablespoon fresh herbs (thyme, chives, sage, etc.)

Grate kohlrabi, place in colander and sprinkle with salt.  Let stand thirty minutes to drain.  Heat butter over medium heat, add onions, and saute onions for a few minutes.  Stir in kohlrabi, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook ten minutes.  Increase heat to medium and cook two  minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs.

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from A. Doncsecz, Vegetarian Gourmet, Spring 1994

Servings:  6

6 medium sized kohlrabi, peeled and grated
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 small red onion, diced
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup currants
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider

Combine the first five ingredients in large bowl.  Gently toss in oil and cider.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours to blend flavors.  Toss before serving.

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