*Written By: Heather Malone*
Alright lovely readers, I have to tell you about my latest obsession: it’s an unusual looking vegetable known as kohlrabi. The name kohlrabi translates to cabbage turnip, and it’s frequently known as the German turnip, though it isn’t really a turnip at all. It is however a close relative of the cabbage. Where cabbage as we know it was bred for impressive foliage, all the efforts to breed kohlrabi focused on enlarging its stems, and it shows.
They are glorious globes of pure veggie goodness!
The kohlrabi is a relative culinary newcomer. Originating in Northern Europe, it wasn’t mentioned in literature until the 1500s. But once we discovered how delightful they are the kohlrabi gained a solid foothold in our kitchens, and thank goodness they did.
Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C. It’s also rich in copper, B6 and fiber, and has a good amount of phosphorus and potassium. Like many plant foods, the more exciting benefits come from complex phytonutrients abundant in kohlrabi. These nutrients contribute to our health in ways we’re just beginning to understand.
You can eat the leaves of the kohlrabi much as you would kale. The bulbous part that looks like a root is actually an enlarged stem. It’s delicious in both its cooked and raw form. Either way you choose to enjoy the kohlrabi stem make sure you remove the tough outer layers prior to consumption, as these are inedible.
When selecting a kohlrabi look for leaves that are on the smaller side as these will be the most tender. Kohlrabi leaves should be dark green and firm. The color of the stem doesn’t matter and varies from pale green to a deep purple, and the yummy inner layers of the stem will be a soft yellow color (regardless of the color of the outside). Look at the size and texture of the stem when selecting kohlrabi. You want the bulbous part to be on the smaller side; around 3” or less will be sweet and flavorful. The skin should be smooth and the stem should feel heavy for its size.
Hopefully at this point you’re as excited to eat your Farm Fresh Kohlrabi as I am - so let’s dig in! If you’re anything like me, the first bulb you prepare you’re going to slice and enjoy raw, perhaps with a nice Miso dip. But if you want to take your kohlrabi game to the next level you have to try this amazing Kohl-slaw. Once you’ve prepped your ingredients simply toss them in a bowl to combine and serve topped with some dill.
- 1.5 cups shredded purple cabbage
- 1.5 cups grated kohlrabi stem
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
- 1 Tbsp pickle juice* or vinegar of choice
- 2 Tsp Dijon mustard