Kohlrabi with leaves removed
Wow. My CSA farm share is growing (pun intended). This week's produce haul included:
Green Leaf Lettuce
Red Leaf Lettuce
tomatoes (hot house)
And my own garden has started offering up zucchini blossoms, fennel and basil, along with its year round gift of rosemary, sage and thyme. (oh my)
Let's talk about Kohlrabi.
Kohlrabi is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage family that will grow almost anywhere. Once the fare of kings and peasants alike it fell out of favor in this country and is not enjoying a revival. The name comes from the German Kohl (cabbage) plus Rube (turnip) because the swollen stem resembles the latter. Its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussels sprouts. They are all the same species as the wild cabbage plant.
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to that of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter.
Easy to grow, the plant reaches maturity just 55 to 60 says after sowing. It also stores well, holding for up to 30 days after picking.
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw (peeled) as well as cooked. The leafy greens can also be eaten. Several varieties are available, Purple and white danube, purple and white vienna, grand duke and gigante (also known as Superschmeltz - notice the german influence?
If you have several Kohlrabi, you an peel, cut into 1 inch pieces, toss with olive oil, garlic and salt and roast in a 375 degree oven until done - about 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
Peel, shred and toss into salads
Pureed: (one of my favorites)
3-4 Kohlrabi heads, peeled and cubed
Kohlrabi leaves, washed and rough chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream (or half and half or milk, your choice)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted to water to a boil. Add kohlrabi cubes and cook until tender. Meanwhile, add a tablespoon or two olive oil to a saute pan, add garlic and saute over low heat until fragrant, add kohlrabi leaves and saute until wilted. Add 1 or two tablespoons cooking water (from the cubed kohlrabi) and saute another minute or two.
Drain cubed kohlrabi and add to saute pan. Cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Place contents of saucepan in food processor, pulse. Add cream (start with 1 tablespoon), butter and parmesan cheese, pulse again until smooth - if needed add another tablespoon of cream. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Serve as a base for pan seared scallops, halibut or other white fish. Also great with a roasted chicken breast.
Do you have a favorite Kohlrabi recipe? Have you ever eaten it? Are you now tempted to try it?
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