How many times have you walked right past these alien-like globes in the fruit & veg department?
I’m not sure why kohlrabi isn’t more popular. It’s got a pretty neutral flavour (to me it tastes just like the inner part of a broccoli stem) it’s nice and crunchy, and you can do so many things with it.
Not The Trendiest Of The Bunch
Kohlrabi, also known as the German Turnip, is a member of the brassica family. Other brassicas include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnip, and kale.
And while each of these vegetables have had their moment in the viral limelight, (kale smoothies anyone?) kohlrabi has yet to have basked in the evangelized food-trend glory of its cousins. In many parts of the world, kohlrabi is still pretty elusive in grocery stores. They are, however, a common find in farmers markets. Farmers love them because they’re easy to grow, they’re delicious, and they look cool.
In my humble opinion, kohlrabi is more versatile than almost any other veggie. You can eat it raw, or cooked, it has no annoying seeds in the middle (sorry acorn squash, you know I love ya), and it is nice and big and can be easily cut into cubes, sticks, shreds, slices, or even cute little heart shapes if that’s what you’re into!
Buying Kohlrabi: What To Look For
When shopping for kohlrabi, look for one that still has the leaves attached. Even if there are no leaves attached, you can see where the leaves once were. Make sure those spots aren’t dry and shrivelled. When you cut into a good kohlrabi, it should be pale green, juicy, and crunchy.
No matter what you end up doing with it, you’ll first need to peel the kohlrabi. To do that, first slice off the top and bottom so it sits flat on your cutting board. Then you’ll want to use a knife to peel away the tough skin. A vegetable peeler won’t cut it here. It’s too thick.
I’m going to talk about two different ways to prepare and eat kohlrabi. One raw, and one cooked.
The first is a kohlrabi and apple salad. It’s basically a coleslaw, and it is a perfect spring picnic option. It’s also great with a piece of fish or chicken for dinner.
Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Fresh Dill
1 medium sized kohlrabi
2 granny smith apples
1 big handful of dill
100g thick yogurt
Big pinch of salt
Pepper and garlic if desired.
It’s up to you whether you’d like to shred, grate, or slice your kohlrabi. My preferred method is to use a mandoline to make thin slices, then slice those slices into matchsticks using a sharp knife. When cutting the kohlrabi this way, I find that the salad stays crunchy until the next day when I pack it for lunch.
I’ve also had good success using the grater blade of a food processor, as shown in the video below, however the result is quite a fine texture and your salad won’t stay as crunchy for as long.
No matter which way you slice it, I do recommend that you slice the apples using the same method for consistency.
Make a quick dressing with the yogurt, salt, and lemon juice, and toss the sliced kohlrabi in it. Add the chopped fresh dill, and continue tossing until everything is nicely combined.
Next up, just below the video: How to cook kohlrabi in the most addictive way: Baked Kohlrabi Fries.
Baked Kohlrabi Fries
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Cut the peeled kohlrabi into 1cm thick slices, and then cut across so you end up with thick sticks.
Toss the kohlrabi sticks in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Spread them out onto a baking sheet so they are in one even layer.
Reduce the heat in the oven to 425 degrees, and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning them once to get even browning. They may take up to 30 minutes depending on how thick you’ve cut them.
Top tip: You can use this roasting method to make pretty much any root vegetable into oven fries.
My favourite thing about these kohlrabi fries is that unlike potatoes, kohlrabi retains a nice firmness when it’s cooked. That means that they keep their shape when they’re roasted. They don’t turn to mush even if you’ve overcooked them a bit, like potatoes sometimes do.
You do have to be careful not to burn them though, they can get pretty dark brown pretty quickly. Be sure to keep your eye on them and turn them once or twice.
These are such a great alternative to standard potato fries. I’m not much of a calorie counter, but I have to admit that it is a pretty nice bonus to sit down with a big bowl of fries, without feeling like I need to run a marathon afterwards.
I hope you give these a go! I know there’s going to be a lot more kohlrabi in my life from now on!