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Foodie Finds: Kohlrabi

It’s not often I encounter a food I’ve never tried, but last spring at the Library’s Farmers Market (on Mondays) I met an alien vegetable – kohlrabi.

What the heck is kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi or turnip cabbage in vegetable bedThe kind folks at the Arkenberg Farms stand always have some of my favorites – beautiful spring salad mix, French breakfast radishes, pure white globe radishes, vibrant green kale – and kohlrabi in the spring/early summer.>

Kohlrabi is also known as a German turnip but it’s actually from the same species as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale or Brussels sprouts. They have more vitamin C than oranges and though they look like a root vegetable, the knobby bulb actually grows above ground.

One of the girls at the stand said kohlrabi sounds like a German hard rock band and now that picture is forever planted in my head. You should be able to find this weird veggie at the farmers market in the next few weeks since it is a cool season vegetable. Here are some ideas for using kohlrabi.

Cooking with kohlrabi

First, I tried it raw with dip. It would make a nice addition to a veggie tray – super crisp and mildly flavored. Then I chopped it up into matchstick sized pieces with apple and Napa cabbage and made a yummy slaw, just using store bought coleslaw dressing. I also added some raisins for sweetness.

My next attempt was a saute’ of kohlrabi, cannellini beans, kale and mushrooms. Here's the recipe I used. I also tossed in some radishes and I absolutely loved this dish. It can be made vegetarian with the swap of vegetable broth for chicken broth and the beans made it hearty.

Here’s the recipe I want to try next with kohlrabi – a kohlrabi and tomato salad. I love salads and this one sounds so good.

Other suggestions for using kohlrabi

  • pickle it
  • bake it or fry it for chips or fries with a yogurt dipping sauce
  • use it raw or blanched in salads

It’s pretty versatile for such a strange vegetable!

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