From asking around the market, I've learned all kinds of things about the humble "cabbage turnip" that is kohlrabi. It's technically part of the cabbage family and is more popular in Central and Eastern Europe than here. However, it grows very well in many parts of the US and since it is good for replenishing the soil, I've been told it makes a good rotation crop. The best ones are fairly small. If you get any that are much bigger than a tennis ball, then they are past their prime and they might have a rather woody texture.
When cooked, it does have a distinctly cabbage-like smell, but in terms of texture, it is very like a turnip. Because of this, I find it's good to cook with turnips because it's comparable in texture, but adds some extra flavor. To prepare kohlrabi, you'll need to start by cutting off the greens and then peeling the vegetable itself. The peeled kohlrabi will be almost white. To get you started, I've put a yummy kohlrabi casserole recipe below. This makes a delicious side dish or small supper in itself, and the recipe is adapted from from Greene on Greens, a fabulous but out-of-print cookbook that I found in a used bookstore. Each chapter focuses on a different vegetable and it's packed with good ideas for using up that farmers' market produce.
|Note: I was only cooking for 2 so this amount is much smaller than what the recipe as written will actually yield.|
2 lb. kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled
4 T. unsalted butter
salt and black pepper
1/2 lb. cooked ham, cut into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
4 egg yolks
1. Cut kohlrabi into 1/8 inch thick slices, and melt butter in large saucepan. Cook the kohlrabi slices in butter over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer 1/3 kohlrabi to a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add half of the ham and sprinkle with half of the parsley. Continue layering and finish with kohlrabi on top. Do not throw out the pan liquids!
4. Beat egg yolks in small bowl and add about 1/2 cup of the sauce. Stir together and then add this egg yolk/sauce mixture back into the large saucepan.
5. Pour this mixture over the kohlrabi and bake until bubbly - about 25-30 minutes. Let it stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6.
Sharing this with