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Simple Kohlrabi Vegetable Cooking Recipes

Kohlrabi Vegetable

 

The name is German, meaning cabbage (kohl) turnip (rabi) and its taste is very much like a cross between the two. It is slightly sweeter than turnip and more delicate than cabbage. Long overlooked here, it is just beginning to appear regularly in supermarkets.

Don't be put off by the otherworldly looks of this interesting vegetable. Kohlrabi is actually the stem of the plant, swollen and round, which grow just above ground. The leaves, which look much like turnip greens, grow out of the bulb at odd angles. Once the bulbs are trimmed of leaves and arranged in the market display, they resemble miniature pale green (or occasionally purple) sputniks with little spikes sticking out all over. Kohlrabi can be eaten cooked or raw. Raw, it has a flavor somewhat like sweet radishes. Like jicama and fennel, slices or sticks of kohlrabi can be part of a crudites platter, along with any kind of savory dip or sauce. Kohlrabi is a perfect addition to Bagna Cauda or Pinzimonio. Or it can be cubed or cut into matchstick strips to add crunch to salads and dieter's snack trays.

The bulb can be peeled and cubed, sliced or left whole. It can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. It can be added to soups, stews, and casseroles; served by itself with just a little butter or olive oil and salt and pepper; or mashed and added to potatoes or another root vegetable, such as its cousin rutabaga. It can be cut into matchstick strips and steamed along with sticks of carrots and celery for a delicious low-calories side dish. If you live near a grower or grow it in your own garden, the leaves delicious cooked like beet greens. Like garden-fresh beets and turnips, it is two distinct vegetables in one. Unfortunately, you seldom see kohlrabi sold in brunches today with the leaves still on.

And if its versatility were not enough, kohlrabi has many of the same health benefits as its relatives in the cabbage family. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, and potassium and provides some vitamin A. Kohlrabi is a good source of fiber and is low in fat and calories.

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