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What to do with Kohlrabi?

It is my first year doing a CSA. This week was the first week and what we got in our basket was really great- lettuce, radishes, chard, kale, turnips, and the kicker, kohlrabi. What the heck is kohlrabi? first off, when it's growing it looks like an alien, all those leaves, and it's purple! Does anyone have any really great recipes for kohlrabi? does anyone know if the leaves are any good? thanks!

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  1. I really like Kohlrabi if you peel it and steam it with butter, salt, and pepper. Very simple. It has a nutty taste and kind of reminds me of turnip. It's tasty!

    1. we've been getting them in our basket for a couple weeks, usually just been slicing them and eating them raw, kinda a different texture. was also told they are good sliced and put on the bbq?
      just taking the farmers advice on this though..

      1 Reply
      1. re: NorfolkGuy

        I also like them raw with salt and pepper. I only buy them in season in a farmers market because they can get so woody when old.

      2. The leaves are good. Cook them like kale or collards depending on how large they are. The purple kind you have to peel -- pale green skinned kohlrabi can sometimes be eaten with the skin (again depending on the size/age of the plant). I think it is best raw. I slice it and use the slices like crackers, dipped into hummus or spread with soft cheese. You can shred it and make a slaw. Cooked, it is like a broccoli stem. Madhur Jaffrey also has a nice kohlrabi and peanut salad if you can find the recipe.

        3 Replies
        1. re: yellowstone

          We usually blanch collards and kale, but find that kohlrabi greens are wonderful without it -- just a quick saute, a pat of butter, et voila!

          1. re: yellowstone

            My great aunt, who had cooked professionally for some minor royalty in the early part of the 20th century, used to cook the kohlrabi (chunked or sliced) and greens; then, she put them through a meat grinder and finished cooking with butter, salt, and pepper. I wish I had asked her for the recipe before she died, because that creamed kohlrabi was one of my favorites (out of the many wonderful things she cooked!)

          2. Kohlrabi is a "Cabbage(kohl) Turnip(rabi)" in German.
            It is super versatile and grows almost anywhere. There are many reputable sites that have lots of recipes out in the ether.
            Makes a great Gratin with cheese and Thyme.

            1. I've had luck peeling, cubing, and roasting it with other root vegetables. I'm also going to try it shredded raw in a salad with apples. Kind of like a slaw.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lschow

                Yes, very good roasted. E.g. see http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... (not that one needs a recipe to roast some vegetables...)

                1. re: drongo

                  For some bizarre reason, I never thought of roasting Kohlrabi. Thanks for the idea guys, & thanks for the recipe link!! :)

              2. It also makes a nice gratin and is lovely made into fauxtatoes.

                1. Kohlrabi brings back childhood memories, my mother always grew a large patch of it.

                  Eat it raw
                  Gratins with ham and gruyere
                  Stuffed with meat (think stuffed bell pepper)
                  Cream of Kohlrabi Soup (Yum)
                  Kohlrabi Slaw
                  Mashed Kohlrabi

                  Etc etc etc

                  It's a great vegetable and very popular throughout Europe and it is also used a great deal in India.

                  1. I recommend mashed kohlrabi. Do exactly as you would with mashed potatoes, except using kohlrabi. Add a little bit of olive oil (or mustard oil, if you prefer) to it, as well as oregano and other spices for extra flavour. Also, if you like, try adding cilantro leaves as garnish (or you could have blended clinantro as a sort of thick sauce) with the mash.

                    You could also try using it in your favourite curry recipe.
                    Try roasting them with olive oil and spices rubbed in, like you would a cauliflower.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mollyw

                      Yes, kohlrabi purees beautifully. You can use a food processor, since it doesn't get gluey like overworked potatoes do. After peeling, diciing and cooking the kohlrabi until it gets soft, I throw it into the food processor, add two or three tablespoons of milk, cream or softened butter, and finish it with some shredded or grated cheese: Parmigiano, fontina or whatever I have on hand. Salt and pepper to taste.

                    2. I developed a recipe using mashed kohlrabi as a topping for shepherd's pie and the texture was quite nice. Plus it uses up a lot of kohlrabi if you find yourself with a ton!

                      http://www.chow.com/recipes/30328-koh...

                      1. Wonderful stuff Kohlrabi! The leaves are edible, & can be cooked as one would cook kale or other braising-type greens. The bulb is great - just peel & slice thinly or cut into sticks to use as "chips" with dip on a crudite platter. Or peel, cut into cubes, steam or boil until tender & serve in a white (Bechamel) or cheese sauce. Also great cubed & blanched & then tossed into stirfries. It has a very mild flavor that lends itself to many uses. And being in the brassica family, is very healthy to boot.

                        1. I've only really tried kohlrabi raw, but it is great in slaws and salads.

                          Ottolenghi has a nice Cabbage and Kohlrabi Salad in Plenty.

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                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blinknoodle

                            I made this salad last week and loved it.

                          2. I have a ton as well, and thought it would be great pickled, inspiring my queries here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/852802

                            1. Very much appreciating all this appetizing-sounding ideas... I'm a kohlrabi neophyte, too, and the only thing I've done so far is pickle it (as a lacto-ferment -- so, sliced, brine, peppercorns & coriander, water seal).

                              1. I recently made a very nice Vietnamese-ish shredded kohlrabi salad: julienne or shred the kohlrabi, toss with dressing made of lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and some chile (I used sriracha, but other chile pastes/flakes would have been fine), peanuts, and minced herb (mint, basil, cilantro, or a combination).

                                1. dinner tonight: sauteed cubed kohlrabi (sliced off the peel) with some sliced proscuitto and garlic scapes. Let it get a little brown, added soy sauce and honey. Allowed time for the kohlrabi to continue to soften while cooking a little spaghetti, when spag done tossed it all together with some chopped parsley. Good stuff.

                                  I didn't have any kohlrabi greens left, but if I did those would have been nice chopped up and tossed in for the last couple minutes of cooking. I use kohlrabi greens anywhere I would use kale, but I don't think they stay good as long --I try to eat them first out of the CSA box.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sksue

                                    Hoo lordy, that sautee with spaghetti sounds sgood!

                                  2. Look at these! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/07/hea...

                                    I've never had it before, but I've just been looking at it. I hate turnip, as I think it's too sweet - is this sweet?

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Soop

                                      I also saved that same recipe from the NYT's back in March. Haven't tried it yet, but I don't think you'll find it sweet. I'd definitely give it a try - you don't have much to lose, & kohlrabi IS good for you, being a brassica-family member.