Kohlrabi – recipe(s) wanted!

Kohlrabi. Just the name is fun let alone the back story .

Apparently considered a “new” vegetable (as in really only discovered 400-500 years ago or so….what a yungin’), Texas A&M’s horticulture site informs us that Kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts are “the only common vegetables of Northern European origin.” Kohlrabi is a brassica…a relative of cabbages, kales, broccolis and the like…whose name is German. Kohl = cabbage and Rabi = turnip. So, literally it is the “cabbage turnip.” It is a cool season crop that is easy to grow. It can be purple or white (light green) skinned.

From the Aggie website:

“The first description of kohlrabi was by a European botanist in 1554. By the end of the 16th century it was known in Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Tripoli, and the eastern Mediterranean. It is said to have been first grown on a field scale in Ireland in 1734, in England in 1837. In the United States, records of its use go back to 1806.”

This vegetable is commonly consumed in India, too.

As with most brassica vegetables, Kohlrabi is good for you. It is high in vitamin C and fiber, as well as being a good source of other vitamins and minerals (vitamin B6, thiamin, folate, potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese to name a few). It also has a low estimated glycemic load (i.e. low likelihood that a serving of kohlrabi will affect blood glucose levels).

But to this day, this veggie lacks popularity in the US of A. I, however, find it to be an intriguing vegetable. Crunchy like an apple…the flavor is mild and sweet…almost like the stalks of broccoli (which I eat along with the florets…why toss that edible goodness? ). That said, this season is my first for growing it. I have been enjoying it raw as a snack or cut up in salads. I’ve tossed it into stir fry or in veggie sautes. But I have no experience cooking it any other way.

So….

My question to those of you following this blog or who happen across us in cyberspace is…do you have any other cooking suggestions? Oh sure, I could Google this and that, but I thought I would pose the question to fellow foodies and cooks out there to best learn what to try. To get the down and dirty scoop on things. Do you cook it as a main soup ingredient? A mash? Roasted? Grilled? What have you tried with this unusual vegetable? With what seasonings? How do you highlight it? I have a few left that I would like to prepare spectacularly…help me out!

Thanks, as always, for following us and for your commentary.

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

7 comments

  1. Hi there, we had a lot of Kohlrabi growing up in Germany.
    One preparation I remember quite vividly is Kohlrabi in white sauce as a side to Schnitzel: cut into fry shaped rectangles, blanch in salted water and cover in a white bechamel sauce (seasoned with nutmeg, salt & pepper, a little lemon, cream, stock powder). Another recipe is Kohlrabi stuffed with a beef filling (ground meat, chopped onion, garlic, bacon, cheese, paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper, parsley, tomato purée). These days I would certainly update it with other herbs like thyme or oregano. Cook the whole Kohlrabi in salted water until semi soft, cut a lid of the top and hollow it out like a pumpkin. Mix these bits with the meat filling and fill the empty bowls with it and cover with the lid. Brown a little butter or oil in a pan, add the Kohlrabis and lightly brown. Add some cream and tomato purée & seasoning as a liquid to cook them in , cover the pan with a lid and bake in the oven for 30-40 Minutes. Season the sauce again. That is what I remember from the 70s. These days I prefer Kohlrabi raw, as a snack or in a slaw with apples. Thanks for the inspiration to use them again, food for thought. Nicole

  2. I wish I had some magicly delicious kohlrabi recipe. The only folks who recognize it at our market are our German customers, and it can get old explaining to every person who comes by what it is when 99% of the time they don’t buy it. I hope you have better success selling it. We may not grow it again because it takes up so much space… wish it sold better because it is so easy! I usually do a slaw with it.

    1. Hi Meredith! I only grew a little this fall for fun and personal use. I appreciate you for sharing your market experience. Valuable stuff to know! I will grow more in the spring and see how it does. It might get demoted quickly to personal use if customers don’t take to it.

      I look forward to reading about your fall and winter projects at Sandyfoot!

      Thanks for stopping in!

  3. Chinese usually eat this by peel it and slice the whitish flesh into small thin pieces, sprinkle some sea salt to rub the thin pieces and drain the liquid out. Little bit of sugar, white vinegar, chilly pepper powder (if you like it hot) to flavor it. It tastes bit of crunch and flavorful. Usually eat it with rice. 🙂

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