Now that the farmer’s markets are in full swing, along with CSA (community supported agriculture) deliveries, it’s possible that you’re seeing vegetables you’ve never come across before. Kohlrabi is certainly not one of the standards found in American grocery stores, which makes its appearance at farmer’s markets all the more special to me. All hail the farmers who are willing to grow and sell more than what can be found in your neighborhood Stop and Shop.
Kohlrabi are in the same family as the cabbage, and taste like a mix between broccoli, cabbage, with a little turnip. They have a light peppery edge which I find very satisfying. Their season can run from springtime to late fall. Nutritionally, they are a source of virtamins C, B6, B1 (thiamin), magnesium, potassium, folate, phosphorus, copper, and manganese. If you’re looking to diversify your vegetable selections, kohlrabi would be an excellent choice. It is also fairly easy to cook. When I first started buying kohlrabi, after hearing a local radio personality declare he was going to become its champion, I sought out the vegetable and ways to cook it. At first I was putting it in the oven, diced up, but in the summer this takes far too long and adds too much heat to an already warm house. This preparation qualified as an experiment in my cooking regime since I am one to only follow proven recipes unless I have made something several times.
Kohlrabi leaves are also edible. Cook them up as you would any dark leafy green and serve with olive oil or butter.
If you’re on the Body Ecology diet, I believe this vegetable would fall under the starchy vegetable rules. Therefore, no combining with protein, and eat with non-starchy vegetables. As you will see at the end, I didn’t follow this rule. If anyone out there knows for certain about kohlrabi’s status in the diet, let me know.
The following recipe is per person. Adjust accordingly.
1 small kohlrabi per person, or 1 medium sized for two people
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, butter or ghee
Garlic cloves, to taste. (At least one clove per serving.)
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
1. Heat oil, butter or ghee over medium heat in a saute pan
2. Remove leaves from kohlrabi if they’re still attached.
3. Peel kohlrabi bulbs. The skin on these can be thick, so this may take some time. If there is any left when cooking, it will separate fairly easily from the flesh.
4. Chop into small squares. This will make cooking time quicker.
5. Chop garlic. When I made up this batch, I had also bought green garlic at the farner’s market. This does not come in cloves as the usual garlic, and I simply chopped up one bulb. which served two people.
6. Put kohlrabi in pan. Let cook for 5-10 minutes over medium to medium-high heat. Test to keep it from overcooking.
7. Add garlic a few minutes after the kohlrabi. This will keep it from overcooking.
8. Remove from heat when kohlrabi is tender. Garnish lightly with sea salt and black pepper, or drizzle with some balsamic vinegar, if you wish.
Kohlrabi served with green beans and tuna steak.