Kohlrabi Delight
Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 12:57

Kohlrabi in the BedKohlrabi, a vegetable with a beautiful name and a fresh, sweet earthy flavor. The taste is true, but a direct translation of its name is simply 'cabbage-turnip' (kohl-cabbage, rapa-turnip), not really so striking as the German. Admittedly, I've never cooked with kolhrabi, but when a chef-friend picked me up a few packs of heirloom seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds on a summer trip to California, I couldn't wait to get the Early Vienna Purple Kohlrabi seeds in the ground in hopes of a fall harvest.


Last night I decided to try my hand at this unique vegetable that grows its bulb above ground and comes in colors of mint green and lavender. I had read about a lot of methods of preparation, but this Farm Girl's blog was the most convincing on how to prepare this brassica.


Originally taken from the Silver Palate Cookbook, Pureed Kohlrabi is apparently the most fabulous way to enjoy Kohlrabi. I snacked on the leaves and bits of the bulb as a I chopped the ingredients, but nothing had me prepared for the flavors of this dish. I'll never eat mashed potatoes again. Okay, I'm kidding - but at least I'll never think of them the same way -- Pureed Kohlrabi blows them away! I'm grateful for cooks more daring than I who try these sorts of things out and then share them with the rest of the world. I don't know if I would have ever thought to put Kohlrabi in the food processor.

I have some photos of of the cooking process, but I got so carried away with the sautee part, that I only took the chopping and the end-product pics. You'll have to imagine the rest!


Kohlrabi on the counter

Look at this beautiful, weird thing. It grew right out back in the high tunnel where it started as a tiny little seed and then exploded into a tree of color and life. I've read to harvest kohlrabi before they reach more than 3" in diamater, and the smaller the more tender and sweet, so I've been harvesting mine a little earlier. And they are tender and sweet as a pea in the spring.


Chiffonade Kohlrabi LeavesChiffonade Kohlrabi Leaves and StemCloseup Kohlrabi ChiffonadeRibbons of Kohlrabi

I cut the leaves off the bulb and cut the stems from the leaves. Then I rolled the leaves up like cigars (chiffonade) and chopped them into long, gorgeous ribbons I wanted to wear in my hair.


First Muse garlicBaby Bellas

I chopped 2 cloves of Summer 2010 First Muse Garlic, 1/2 an onion and 4 oz. of baby bella mushrooms. And that, my dear, is where I stopped taking pictures. We'll blame it on sticky garlic fingers.


I boiled the bulb pieces of the kohrabi with a handfull of small purple potatoes until they were fork tender. While that cooked, I sauteed 1/2 diced onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes, added the garlic and let that go for about a minute and then added the kohlrabi leaves and quartered baby bella mushrooms. I needed a bit more olive oil here as everything was starting to stick. I let those ingredients cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Once everything was done boiling and sauteeting, I removed it from the heat, let it cool slightly and added both the kohlrabi bulb, potatoes and the leaf/mushroom/onion mixtures to the food processor and threw in a dollop of butter for fun. I added salt and pepper and processed it until it looked like green lumpy mashed potatoes. I added 3 tablespoons of light cream, gave it a few more spins, took a bite and fell over. Oh man! It was so good.

Kohlrabi Puree

I served it with grilled chicken breasts in a Middle Eastern Honey Cumin Chicken Marinade. In the words of the Farmgirl from Farmgirl Fare, "The Beauty of Vegetables is Highly Underrated." Amen, sister. And I would add to that "the beauty... and the flavor!" Here's to another spectactular dinner from the earth's bounty.