Why Kohlrabi Should Be Your New Best (Farm) Friend
You might have met Bobbi Kohlrabi. She is a Garden City Harvest superhero, and knows the essential dance moves (funky chicken, mash potato, driving the big tractor, raise the barn roof, etc.).
This character was inspired by the amazing and nutritive powers of the spaceship-shaped, sparse-leaved, mineral and nutrient rich kohlrabi. It has the amazing absorption promoting combo of iron and calcium. Iron can be hard to absorb, so this is something to shake your tail feathers over. Its got vitamins A, B complex, C, and K a ton of fiber to keep things moving smoothly, and antioxidant properties (thanks phytochemicals!).
Kohlrabi is crunchy, slightly sweet, a bit more like an apple in texture but a broccoli stem in taste. The flavor does well with the rich, complex spices in many Indian dishes. Many German recipes use kohlrabi as well.
And, my friends, it is so versatile. You can eat it raw, roasted, grilled, souped, stewed. . . even enchiladaed. Which is actually how I used my first kohlrabi. It can be subbed for carrots, broccoli, potatoes. Make kohlrabi fries! Slaws (recipe below)! Risottos! Its leaves can be used as you would kale or collards.
Our four farms grow purple and green kohlrabi varieties. There really isn’t much difference in the taste of the two, and they are both the same color once you peel them. Which brings me to the hardest part of working with your new BFF.
You have to peel this or you will think it is your worst enemy. The skin isn’t so bad, but the fibrous stuff just underneath the skin resembles tree bark. It does not soften with cooking.
Once peeled, you can match stick chop, mandoline slice, or grate in your food processor. The Kitchn has all sorts of tips on slicing and dicing your kohlrabi if you want to nerd out.
Many articles rave about kohlrabi slaw, which I have never made. So I decided it was time.
With no cooking required and a simple dressing, this recipe is easy and quick. Refreshing on a hot summer day, too.
I roughly followed this recipe from The Kitchn, with a few adjustments. Just enough that I am now calling it Bobbi Kohlrabi’s Super Slaw. Boom.
Peel your kohlrabbi, peel it good.
Chop it to fit in your food processor. You can also hand grate any of these, and work on your muscle tone while you’re at it.
Feed two medium carrots and a half of one of your smaller beautiful fresh purple cabbages to the food processor (doesn’t have to be purple, but you get color points if it is!)
I fed a few of the baby onions I picked up at River Road to the food processor, too.
All of the above ingredients are coming into or are in season right now. You shouldn’t have to buy anything special for this recipe.
I mixed the dressing. Since I only had fresh parsley (not cilantro, which is what the recipe calls for), I mixed in some cumin to give the slaw a little flair. You could also pair parsley with coriander to get closer to the cilantro flavor (coriander is made of the seed of the cilantro plant). I was pleased with the half a teaspoon of cumin I added, however. I also put one teaspoon of honey in, rather than two teaspoons of sugar. It was plenty sweet.
I put all the ingredients in a bowl, and used my (clean) hands to toss it all together.
Austen asked if it was made of different kinds of cheeses when she saw it. I hedged with “Yeah, it is. . . probably not made of cheese.” As she was tasting it. Then I admitted it was vegetables. She gave it the double thumbs up. But then she asked if she could only eat one bite.
Next, I’m going to tackle kohlrabi french fries. . .
Serves 6 as a side
for the slaw:
1 medium large kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
2 medium large carrots (as fresh as you can get) shredded
half a small purple cabbage
3 – 5 baby onions
for the dressing:
1/3 cup mayo (I used Just Mayo)
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin or coriander
2 tablespoons parsley
1. Peel the outer layers of the kohlrabi. Chop to food processor size all ingredients. Shred the main ingredients in your food processor (or grate by hand — also great way to get in a arm workout).
2. Mix together dressing.
3. Combine and toss veggies and dressing. It’s best to cool this off after prepping it for a few hours in the fridge. Finish with a parsley garnish.