Growing up, one of the ‘must haves’ in the family garden was kohlrabi. I remember picking the baseball-sized vegetable right from the garden, peeling it with my teeth and enjoying the crisp mild cabbage flavor.
I have yet to find kohlrabi in a grocery store, making it a true local food and seasonal treat. This time of year, kohlrabi can be found at most farmer’s markets and farm stands. Selling them at the markets, we introduced scores of people to their yummy crunch. This one came from my friends Greg & Denise Hoffman.
Smaller kohlrabi varieties, are not meant to grow much bigger than 3-4 inches in diameter. If these kohlrabi get too big, the flesh becomes very tough, fibrous and takes on a woody texture. Not very palatable. Some newer kohlrabi varieties, such as Kossak, can grow considerably bigger. They reach over 8 inches in diameter and remain tender throughout the entire orb.
Kohlrabi comes in light green or purple colors. Underneath the skin, the flesh is always a white or very pale green with a sweet, mild cabbage flavor. Most often, kohlrabi can be found with the leaves and root stem already removed. You’ll also want to wash and peel the skin before eating.
A member of the cabbage family, kohlrabi can be enjoyed several ways: raw, grilled, steamed, or creamed in a white sauce. Sometimes we’ll cut them into 1/4-1/2 inch slices, brush them with a small amount of oil, sprinkle them with salt and place them on the grill for 5 minutes on each side (depending on how hot the grill is). They can be also be tossed in a salad or added to soup for a different twist.
Personally, I like kohlrabi raw- just wash, peel, slice & eat. We enjoyed this one last night with our supper, savoring our first taste of this summertime yumminess!
Have you had kohlrabi? Share your story!
More about my friends Greg & Denise Hoffman, their dedication to supplying people with fresh fruits & vegetables and a recipe using some of their fresh produce.