It only took one Kohlrabi to turn me into a Kohlrabi fan, but one year on I finally have my second Kohlrabi.
I originally posted this back in July 2009, and have been waiting over a year now to get my second Kohlrabi through my organic veggie box. This week I received a huge purple turnip looking thing, and once again I thought “what the heck is this?”. Then from somewhere in my memory I dredged up this…
I was ecstatic to find another Kohlrabi, as I have been disappointed before, the first time I got a Celeriac I thought I had one right until I sliced it open…
For those who don’t know what a Kohlrabi is, from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s article in the Guardian:
It has about it the texture and crunch of a radish and something of the taste of a mild turnip, cauliflower or broccoli stem, making it a tasty addition to summer salads and stir-fries.
I would add to this, because I don’t think the taste of mild turnip or broccoli stem really sells it… It reminds me most of a mild radish, with that slight peppery taste.
The article has three different recipes for using Kohlrabi, but I didn’t try any of them instead I opted to half it, and make two salads. One with raw kohlrabi and the other where it had been cooked.
To showcase raw Kohlrabi I used a really basic recipe (that came in my veggie box) for Kohlrabi and Carrot salad. This recipe is quite like a light coleslaw without the creaminess. However it uses cumin seeds, to give a wonderful depth of flavour. I would say in addition that while the first time I made this salad I grated both the carrot and the kohlrabi, I infinitely prefer it when they are both sliced into matchsticks. It’s much crunchier this way, and can be a perfect snack. (On Friday afternoon at work I ate my way through a huge batch, so much so that I had none left for “new” photos). Although this way it is much less like a coleslaw.
We had this is an accompaniment with hamburgers for dinner last night. All the flavours were quite delicate: cumin, the lemon adds a subdued zing and the kohlrabi and carrot both add crispiness.
I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, and it was wonderful. I think the red pepper really made it though, it gave it a sweetness and added moisture to the salad. I love mushrooms, so I am not complaining but I don’t feel that they really added much to the salad. So I don’t think you would be risking much if you decided to leave them out.
It was the first time I had cooked with Quinoa too (last weekend I really was in a branching out kind of mood) and I have to admit I like it a lot more than cous cous. Quinoa when cooked plumps up a fair bit more than cous cous so it feels like you are eating a proper meal.
The recipe used cumin as the main spice so I thought that it would work quite well with some quick grilled chicken. The chicken was marinaded for a few hours in a couple of tablespoons of low fat natural yoghurt, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and 1 teaspoon of tumeric.
I think both of these recipes were really good summer dishes, where as the ones in the Guardian were more typically autumn/wintery. Having now had the opportunity to have a second Kohlrabi, I have to say it was the Kohlrabi and Carrot salad that made my list first (and second, since I made too batches). While I liked the Quinoa recipe very much I just don’t think that cooking Kohlrabi is making the most of it. Once cooked it’s a lot like a turnip. However I could yet still be proved wrong, I have some more Kohlrabi recipes up my sleeves, and I am sure I will share them with you sometime soon!
Got any great Kohlrabi recipes? Please let me know!
(Updates added September 2010)