What is Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip or cabbage turnip, is very popular in Northern and Eastern European countries like Germany and Hungary as well as northern Vietnam and eastern India. The funny-looking vegetable is part of the same family as broccoli and cabbage and can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of dishes.
Kohlrabi grows as a bulb with leaves shooting up from the sides, giving it an almost alien look. It can be white, green, or purple with little difference in flavour, and has a mild taste that has made it popular in dishes from salads to soups. Peeling and chopping or slicing is the only prep required. Farmers like to plant the bulb since it is easy to grow in tandem with other crops and has a long growing season, making it a popular farmers’ market find. Kohlrabi tends to be moderately priced when compared to other farmers’ market veggies. Ref The Spruce Eats
Storage & Cooking Tips
Fresh kohlrabi can stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 1 week. It’s better to separate the leaves when storing, removing them from the root and keeping them in a plastic bag before preparing them.
Wash the kohlrabi thoroughly, cut off the leaves and peel the root. Cut the lower end with a sharp knife, removing any woody, fibrous parts.
What To Make With Kohlrabi
The light green kohlrabi leaves taste great and are full of nutrients – far too good to throw away! Therefore, only remove large leaves that are no longer quite crisp and fresh and prepare the rest this way: wash them thoroughly, shake dry, then chop them very finely and sprinkle over the kohlrabi or other vegetables, or vegetable soup or mixed salad. You can also use the cooking water for soups or sauces, for example. It contains about 50 percent of the valuable mustard oils that dissolve from the kohlrabi during cooking.
Unlike most other types of cabbage, kohlrabi is easy to digest and has a particularly high nutrient content. In order to ensure the healthful integrity of the vegetable, make sure to keep cook times short when preparing kohlrabi. Steam it in a little salted water or broth for a maximum of 10-15 minutes, taking it out when it is still relatively firm. Whole roots need a while longer to cook, about 20-30 minutes. Those who like the fine cabbage taste of kohlrabi are spoilt for choice. The crunchy texture makes it delicious raw when tossed into salads. It’s also delicious in casseroles, gratins or vegetarian buffers.
- Roast it – As I mentioned above, if you’ve never worked with this interesting vegetable, I think this Roasted Kohlrabi recipe is the place to start. The result of this super easy recipe is a very, naturally sweet treat.
- Purée it – It’s delicious in soups and sauces.
- Sauté it – this will have a similar result to roasting, as it will caramelize nicely bringing all of the natural sugars to the surface.
- Eat it raw – It’s wonderful in slaws, salads, or as a vehicle for delicious dips!
- Spiralize it – A pretty way to serve it raw or cooked.
Kohlrabi greens can also be used in a stir-fry, and you can use the stems in stocks and broths.