Kohlrabi

I hope I am not the last one to find out about kohlrabi. Am I?

A few days ago I got to the farmers market a little too late. It reminded me of walking into a grocery store in Charlotte right after the weatherman had called for snow. In other words, everything was gone. In hindsight this was a good thing, because in an effort to not go home empty handed, I spotted these babies and at $1 a bunch I almost skipped home. I love a good deal!

After doing some research on Google, I learned that kohlrabi is German for “cabbage turnip”. Part of the Brassica plant family (which also includes cauliflower, kale, turnips, broccoli), it is a stem vegetable rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants.

 

It was one of those days when I was too lazy to look up recipes. So I simply did what felt right. I washed and chopped the greens in ribbons. I peeled and diced the globe stems. I sauteed the two with lots of butter, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and black mustard seeds. I let it cook on low heat for about 20 minutes. While the mixture cooled, I knead some whole wheat flour, salt, olive oil, and water together to make the dough for rotis. I stuffed and rolled the rotis with the kohlrabi mixture in them. Then finally I sauteed the rotis in some more butter till they were golden brown.

The kohlrabi mixture which didn’t get stuffed was later eaten with brown rice. All in all this was a fun and tasty lesson in winging it.

I should note that raw kohlrabi to me tasted like radishes – crunchy and peppery. The tops have a taste similar to other dark bitter greens. Sauteed together they tasted quite delicious and hearty. In fact next time I will leave out the mustard seeds  and toss in some orecchiette pasta and finish it off with some olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Here are some other ways of using kohlrabi including in salads, fries, risotto, and even spring rolls. I hope you give these space age looking vegetables a try. And more importantly I hope you find a bunch for a $1.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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