All About Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is an alien-looking bulb from the cabbage family. It tastes like a crispy blend of cabbage, jicama, turnips, broccoli stems, and radishes. Sometimes the bulb can be pale green or purple, though the inside is always a creamy color. Often, the leaves will be attached to the bulb. These leaves can be eaten in similar ways to kale.
In the summer, when the bulbs are younger, they will be smaller, about 2 inches in diameter. Later on, in the fall, the bulbs will be larger, more like 4 inches across.
You will need to peel kohlrabis with thick woody skin. Be sure to peel deep enough to remove any woody parts. It is easier to peel kohlrabi with a sharp paring knife than a vegetable peeler.
If the leaves are attached to the bulb, remove the leaves before storing. Cut them off close to the bulb. Wrap the leaves in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag or container. The leaves will keep for up to a week.
Kohlrabi can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. If you plan to store it longer, place it in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator in a plastic bag. You can store them for a few weeks, though the texture might get woodier over time.
To freeze, cut off the tops and roots of the bulb and peel if the skin is tough. Cut into ½-inch cubes and blanch for 1 minute, then cool, drain and pack into the best serving size for you, in plastic bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. Kohlrabi can be frozen for up to a year.
Kohlrabi fries make a healthy alternative to French fries. I like the tangy dip, but then again, I'm not a fan of ketchup.
4 kohlrabi roots
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, chili powder, salt, and cumin.
Peel kohlrabi, if necessary. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/2-inch slices, then across each slice to make 1/2-inch wide matchsticks. Place in a large bowl. Pour the flavored oil over the kohlrabi and toss to coat.
Transfer matchsticks to a baking sheet. Spread into a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
To make the dipping sauce, whisk all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with dipping sauce, or if you prefer (I don't), ketchup.
More Ideas for Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is delicious raw, as a crudité. Munch on a combination of sliced kohlrabi, carrots, and watermelon radishes dipped in hummus.
Steam, roast, or stir-fry and serve with pasta or a grain and tomato sauce, with or without other vegetables.
Kohlrabi adds a crunchy note to salads. There are so many different variations:
- With other vegetables such as radishes, pea shoots, arugula, carrots, or beets.
- With apples.
- Topped with a creamy remoulade dressing.
- As part of a grain salad, such as one with lentils and couscous.
- With rice noodles.
- In a quick kim-chi-flavored salad.
Substitute kohlrabi for Chinese broccoli in this black bean shrimp dish.
Martha Rose Shulman’s kohlrabi-filled phyllo pie sounds delicious.
Substitute kohlrabi for broccoli in this pasta dish.
Make this winter vegetable curry using carrots, potatoes, and kohlrabi, served over millet or rice.
Make a quick pickle from shredded kohlrabi.
Roast it or mash it.
Roast with broccoli for this salad with a cashew-ginger sauce.
Butter-braise kohlrabi, which is similar to the recipe we offered last week for salad turnips
Slice thinly for oven-fried chips.
Try kohlrabi fritters, alone or combined with carrots.
For a fun garnish, watch this video showing how to carve a kohlrabi bulb into a rose.
Discover even more ideas at The Kitchn, Martha Stewart, Food52, and the New York Times.