Kohlrabi…what is this spaceship?


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Kohlrabi, by consumer definition, is that spaceship-looking vegetable seen at the grocery store or farmer’s market that you contemplate buying just because it looks cool, but you actually have no idea what to do with it. Well, let us solve that problem for you so next time you don’t hesitate and can leave with the spaceship vegetable in your shopping bag.

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage plant family. Therefore, it is also related to other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts. Some of the health benefits of kohlrabi include its fairly high content of fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. Simply stated, the fiber is good for your overall digestion and heart health, while Vitamins C & B6 help boost your immune system and metabolism.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Ok, kohlrabi sounds good for me, but how do I know I will like how it tastes?” The answer to that question is that it really depends how you choose to eat it. Every part of the vegetable is edible – the leaves, stem, and bulb. However, whether you choose to eat it raw, sautéed, or baked and with or without seasonings might be an experiment for your taste buds. When eating it raw, a high school student who recently visited the farm quite reasonably described the taste as if a “radish and a cucumber had a baby”. It has a nice crisp taste and matchstick slices make for a great addition to a vegetable tray. If you cook it in the oven or sauté it on the stove, it can become a little sweeter or caramelized in the high heat, making it a nice side dish for steak, fish, or a main course meal.

 

So how do you prepare kohlrabi?

  1. First, you will probably want to cut off the stems and peel it. The outer layer can be rather tough. (The stems and leaves can easily be chopped and tossed into a salad.)
  2. Slice the kohlrabi in half, then into quarters (this makes it easier to peel off the skin).
  3. Peel off the tough skin of its outer layer.
  4. Cut the kohlrabi into pieces that suite your need or recipe. The slices are further described below and pictured from left to right.

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  • Thick Slices (far left)
    • Using a sharp knife carefully cut the slices into thick wedges.
    • These pieces can be good for baking, stir fry recipes, and even eating raw with a light ranch dressing or veggie dip.
  • Match Sticks (middle)
    • Cut the kohlrabi into thick slices. Then, stack the slices and cut them into matchsticks or French fry sized pieces that could be used in stir fries and coleslaws.
  • Thin Slices (far right)
    • The best tool to use for thin slices is a mandoline slicer, which can be seen in the picture below.
    • Position a kohlrabi quarter on a mandoline, and use a finger guard to hold it in place as you slice.
    • These slices are perfect for a salad and could even be added to a vegetable lasagna.

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Now what? Your vegetable looks like a disassembled spaceship, and you’re not sure how you want to eat it. Check out the links below for some tasty recipes!

 

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