Think Kohlrabi!

Think Kohlrabi!

When I was growing up, “different, gourmet or exotic” were not words used to describe what would be on our family table for dinner.

The protein included beef, pork, beef, chicken, or beef. Starch was potatoes. Vegetables were the most predictable. Canned corn, beans, or peas…and didn’t you just love the Jell-O salad with green olives and mayo.

It was not that my parents were boring, they just liked what they knew. “Exciting and different” was summertime fresh sweet corn from the neighbor and berries from the plot out by the shed.

I don’t have to tell you times have changed. Thank goodness!

Now when you visit the Market on Saturday, there is a grand variety of fruits and vegetables from our farm neighbors that can provide adventures for both your dinner plate and your ever-expanding palate.

One of my favorite “different, gourmet” veggies these days is Kohlrabi. This “German Turnip” shares its lineage with broccoli and cauliflower, both of which originated with the wild cabbage plant.

Do not be put off by the earthy, hefty appearance of this beauty. You might find a variety with long stems and leaves (both of which are edible) and there are purple and light green examples.

Kohlrabi offers a sweet-but-peppery flavor profile. When raw, kohlrabi is slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes mixed with turnip.

All parts of the kohlrabi can be eaten, both raw and cooked. Always peel the tough and woody outer skin of the bulb.

It is delicious steamed, sautéed, roasted, stuffed, creamed, in soup or stew.

When buying always pick vegetables that are firm and solid, never squishy. The smaller bulbs tend to be sweeter.

So, go ahead…take the plunge. Try Kohlrabi in your summer crudité platter or as a steamed veggie side.

It sure beats Jell-O!