About Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi’s name comes from the German name for ‘cabbage-turnip’. It has crisp, crunchy texture when raw and a mild, but slightly peppery flavor. In the same family as cabbage, kale, and broccoli, it is relatively unknown compared to its cousins. But don’t worry – just because it’s not popular doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty or versatile! Roasted, raw, pureed, or steamed – kohlrabi has a lot of potential.

Feel things first – how do you prepare it? Be sure to peel the outside. The fibrous outside won’t soften during cooking, so make you use a good peeler or pairing knife to get the job done.


Kohlrabi Home Fries


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 30 min

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds kohlrabi
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour, chickpea flour or semolina (more as needed)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil, as needed
  • Chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder or paprika to taste

Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is good). Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl, season with salt if desired and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated.

When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn’t crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.

Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw


from The Kitchn

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 large kohlrabi, peeled, stems trimmed off, grated
  • 1/4 head purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • 4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Combine the kohlrabi, cabbage, carrots, onion, cilantro, and raisins (if using) in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt. Pour the dressing over the slaw, and mix until fully coated. Chill for several hours before serving.

Caramelized Kohlrabi Soup


from The New York Times

Total Time: 45 min

Yield: 6 servings

  • 3 pounds kohlrabi, turnips or a combination, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or use water)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small lemon, preferably a Meyer lemon
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, as needed
  • Smoky chile powder, as needed

Arrange an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss together kohlrabi, 2 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Transfer to oven and broil until very well browned, about 10 minutes total, tossing halfway through cooking. (Watch carefully to see that they do not burn.)

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and let cook for 1 minute.

Add roasted kohlrabi, stock, 3 cups water, the bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium, cover partly, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

Discard bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a food processor, purée soup until very smooth.

Zest the lemon into the pot, then halve it and squeeze in its juice. Taste soup and add more salt if needed. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of oil, grated cheese and a pinch of chile powder.

Kohlrabi Risotto


from The New York Times

  • 1 pound kohlrabi, preferably with some greens attached
  • 7 to 8 cups well-seasoned chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 ½ cups arborio rice
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup dry white wine, like pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Peel the kohlrabi, making sure to remove the fibrous layer just under the skin, and cut into .5-inch dice. If there are greens attached, wash, stem and blanch them for 1 minute in salted boiling water. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain, squeeze out water and chop coarsely. Set aside.

Put your stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that it is well seasoned. Turn the heat down to low.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy nonstick skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook gently until it is just tender, about 3 minutes. Do not brown. Add the diced kohlrabi and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the kohlrabi is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated and been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about .5 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often. After 15 minutes, stir in the greens from the kohlrabi. When the rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy, in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now, add pepper and adjust salt.

Add another ladleful of stock to the rice. Stir in the Parmesan and the parsley and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

Kohlrabi and Celery Root Puree


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 30 min

Yield: 6 servings

  • ¼ pound Yukon gold potatoes (1 medium), peeled and diced
  • 1 pound kohlrabi, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 large celery root, about 1 pound, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the potatoes, kohlrabi and celery root in a steamer above 2 inches of boiling water. Cover and steam 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

Drain, cover tightly and allow to sit for 5 minutes, to steam and dry out. Mash with a potato masher or through a food mill fitted with a medium screen. Add the yogurt and the butter and mix together until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Kohlrabi


from The New York Times

Yield: 7 rolls

  • 1 ¾ ounces thin rice sticks
  • 6 ounces marinated tofu, cut in dominoes 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • ½ pound kohlrabi, peeled and shredded (make sure to remove fibrous layer just under the skin before shredding)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, cut in julienne
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 14 sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons slivered Thai basil or mint leaves, plus 7 to 14 leaves
  • 7 8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers

Place the rice sticks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 20 minutes, or until the noodles are pliable, and drain. Transfer the noodles to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half, into roughly 6-inch lengths. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.

Meanwhile, toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the carrot, ginger, chopped cilantro and slivered Thai basil or mint.

One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tofu slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tofu, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro and a Thai basil leaf or a couple of mint leaves on top. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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