CSA Share Veggie Scoop: Kohlrabi

Rachel Mockler's photo of Morgen harvesting kohlrabi.
What is that?  That’s kohlrabi!  Kohlrabi comes from the German words for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rϋbe).  It’s in the brassica family, along with broccoli, kale, cabbage, and the bok choi you’ve been enjoying each week.  These hearty greens do great in cold weather, which is just why you see them in early spring in Montana.  Many of the brassica family members actually taste better after a slight frost, sweetening up against the chill.

While the leaves of kohlrabi are edible and can be prepared interchangeably in recipes for collards, the treat in this cabbage-turnip is its bulb-like stem.  The stem tends to be sweeter than other brassicas and is good either raw or cooked (my favorite is slow roasted in the oven with a touch of whatever oil is on hand and sea salt).

Kohlrabi has been around since at least the first century AD.  Apicius, who happened to write the oldest known cookbook on cooking and dining in imperial Rome, mentions the kohlrabi.  Charlemagne, who was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 AD, made orders for this lovely vegetable to be grown.  Now it is common to Indian and Chinese diets, as well as your own.

Here’s the skinny on kohlrabi: it’ll relieve your charlie horses with its richness in potassium.

Per one-half cup, kohlrabi has 19 calories, 2.5 grams of dietary fiber, 245 grams of potassium, 43.4 milligrams of vitamin C, 11.3 micrograms of folic acid, and 16.8 milligrams of calcium.

While I mentioned earlier that my favorite way to prep kohlrabi is roasting, barbeque season is upon us.  Below I’ll include a quick recipe for your next cook-out.

Grilled Kohlrabi
1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Toss the kohlrabi in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil. Grill over medium heat for 45 minutes, until kohlrabi is tender. Remove from the foil. Adjust seasoning and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.