June 22nd, 2012
When I’d finished buying my vegetables at the Islington Farmers’ Market on Sunday, Martin the farmer, presented me with a kohlrabi to try. These Russian spaceship like vegetables are quite common in Indian cuisine, but I don’t think I’ve really noticed them in shops here, or tried them outside of a curry (and that would have been unknowingly).
The name kohlrabi is German and means cabbage turnip. It’s a relative of the wild cabbage and is therefore related to broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc. It grows above ground, with it’s root coming from the round base. Martin did mention that the leaves are edible, but slightly bitter.
To prepare, first remove the leaves and slice off the bottom with a sharp knife. Next peel like an apple, with a potato peeler.
I sliced the kohlrabi and then chopped it into chunks. The texture is crisp, like a firm apple. I tried it raw – it’s very good, a little creamy, similar but different to cauliflower and refreshing like lettuce. I’m sure it would be excellent in a salad. I was tempted to eat it all raw, but as I was steaming carrots and broad beans, it went in the steamer too. After about 12 – 14 minutes, the kohlrabi maintained its crispy freshness and went well with the other vegetables and a chicken breast.
I was really impressed by the flavour and next week I’ll be buying more!