Friday, July 29, 2011

Farm Fresh: Kohlrabi!

Welcome to my Summertime Foodie Friday series: Farm Fresh!

I decided to take advantage of the abundance of the Summer growing season by featuring a new unusual vegetable each week. These vegetables may be ones you've had before, or ones you've heard of but never dared to taste. Or, they may be ones you had no idea how to prepare to eat. I'll include a bit of information about the vegetable, a simple recipe, and a linky so you can share your favorite recipe featuring the vegetable of the week. The link collections will be open for a full month after I feature a vegetable, so you can experiment with it and then come back here and link up your successes.

The series will run through the end of August, and I'll publish a post every week or two. So far, I've featured artichoke, kale, eggplant, beet, zucchini, and this week, kohlrabi!

If there's a vegetable you'd like to see featured in the series, or if you have a preparation tip to add, please let me know in the comments. And don't forget to link up your kohlrabi recipes in the linky below! 

A basket of kohlrabi at the Saturday farmer's market.
Kohlrabi is another vegetable which I'm featuring by a reader's request. (I love getting these requests—it inspires me to try even more new things!) I'm not sure that I'd ever eaten kohlrabi before preparing it this time, but I liked it very much. The other members of my family did as well, so I will definitely be buying it again.

A little background on this delightfully funny-looking vegetable:
Kohlrabi, also known as the German turnip, is a member of the cabbage family. This vegetable has been cultivated specifically (through artificial selection) to be spherical and to be able to grow in a wide variety of environments.
Kohlrabi can be either white (really, a light green) or purple on the outside, but all of the inner flesh is the same very pale yellow (almost white) color. The leafy green parts can be eaten in addition to the fleshy stem part, which is good both cooked and raw. Kohlrabi is high in Vitamin C. (From Wikipedia's Kohlrabi article.)
Kohlrabi is even fun to play with!
(I recorded Jaymz juggling them, too.)
The round part of the kohlrabi is actually part of its stem. The outer skin is tougher than the inside, but if you get them young enough, I hear you can eat the whole thing just like an apple. I was (pleasantly) surprised at how sweet the kohlrabi is, since I had read that it tastes like broccoli stems. The best way I can describe it is: it smells like cabbage, and tastes like very sweet broccoli stems, with a little bit of a squash-like (but not at all mushy) quality when cooked.

Jaymz ate a couple of raw kohlrabi pieces and said they were quite good. I (generally) prefer cooked vegetables to raw ones, so I waited until after roasting it to give it a try. I thought it was delicious! This is a very simple and easy way to prepare kohlrabi.

All you need is:

Garlic, minced (approximately 1 Tablespoon)
Olive oil (a drizzle)
Salt (optionally, to taste)
(Vinegar, optionally)

Here's how:
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  • Wash the kohlrabi and cut the leaves off:

  • Remove the tougher outer layer of skin with a knife:

  • Slice into smallish chunks, and place in a baking dish:
    Looks like apples, right?

  • Toss with olive oil and garlic (and salt, optionally):

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes after 20 minutes, until the kohlrabi pieces begin to lightly brown.
  • Serve hot (and if you're so inclined, with a drizzle of your favorite vinegar on top):

I decided to salt it lightly after cooking, and I didn't bother with the vinegar because it didn't seem to need anything else. The kohlrabi was sweet and delicious! Like I already said, it was a hit with my family, and I'm very excited to try preparing it other ways.

How do you like to eat kohlrabi?


  1. Wow. I've seen these at the Farmer's Market and I vaguely knew what they were called but I had no idea what to do with them. Maybe I'll pick up a few tomorrow.
    As always, this is my favorite weekly blog post - I keep coming back and getting inspired (and hungry).

  2. @Jenn: Wonderful! It's so rewarding to know this series is inspiring people to try new things! I'll look forward to hearing what you think of kohlrabi. :-)

  3. Hm. Well...maybe I'll try it now that you survived your encounter. :)

  4. @Amanda: I hope you do try it! Let me know how it goes.

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