Ugly vegetables deserve love, too (TSL)
I may have mentioned before that this autoimmune protocol caper that I’m on has had a side benefit that I never expected. I am far more open to experimenting with new, previously unknown ingredients vegetables.
And, even before I committed to the full on elimination process, I was introducing less common veggies into my life. I’ll definitely be making my Simple Sorrel Pesto again, now that nuts have been successfully reintroduced. And, I have been waiting for my recently acquired plantains to ripen so that I can make Knock Out Plantain Hotcakes again, too…
This week I picked up some sexy-ugly looking kohlrabi at the farmers market. I see them sitting there every week and I have never bought one. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never actually tasted one, either. Until today, that is.
Have you ever eaten kohlrabi?
These bulbous-shaped vegetables come in green or purple. They can apparently be eaten raw or cooked, and taste a little like broccoli stems, although I think they are a wee bit sweeter.
I have always associated kohlrabi with my German heritage (my Mum grew up in Germany), and it turns out I was right to do so. The word kohlrabi is German for ‘cabbage turnip’ (kohl as in cole-slaw, and rübe for turnip). Don’t get confused, though – the kohlrabi is not a root vegetable. Rather, it’s a member of the Brassica family – like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale – which all grow above ground and are known for their antioxidant properties. In other words, kohlrabi is really good for you!
Specifically, fresh kohlrabi is a very rich source of vitamin-C which helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gums. All pretty good stuff (says the girl with periodontal issues!)
As far as actual preparation goes, it transpires the humble kohlrabi is a rather versatile vegetable when it comes to how to eat it. They can be eaten raw—peeled, sliced and added to a salad or used for serving with a dip – or, they can be cooked. A truly multi-seasonal vegetable! They can be steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, mashed, stir-fried or roasted. You can even eat the leaves – think sautéed with a little bone broth and onions.
My first recipe for kohlrabi was inspired by the delicious Yotam Ottolenghi. He’s a big fan of this old-world vegetable. I wrote about my gorgeous piece of pork neck that I slow-cooked earlier in the week, and today I wanted a bit of crunch to go some of the porky leftovers. And so, this salad was born.
And, I have to say, this is definitely not the last time I’ll be cooking with kohlrabi. It may well be my new favourite thing…
[recipe title=”O for Oarsome Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Salad” servings=”6-ish” time=”30 minutes tops” difficulty=”REALLY easy with a mandolin”]
2 x large kohlrabi
2 x apples (I used granny smiths)
3 x medium carrots
1 x large handful coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish 1 garlic clove, crushed
50ml apple cider vinegar
50ml extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP elimination)
1. Peel the kohlrabi, wash and core the apples, peel the carrots. Shred on a mandolin (preferred option!) or julienne into match sticks by hand.
2. Mix all the julienned vegetables together in a large bowl. Add the coriander, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Stir well. Taste and season generously.
E N J O Y ! [/recipe]
This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable
Aha, the old cabbage turnip is indeed a strange and exotic looking creature, TSL! I’ve never tried it, but I do believe your description (and recipe) has convinced me to give it a go. (Although we could also paste some of those googly eyes on them and sell them to small children as quirky toys, I reckon!) Thanks and Happy Friday! 🙂
Lovely Sparks – whenever I hear (or read) the word turnip, I am reminded of Blackadder and Baldrick who had a thingy that looked like a turnip…
Kohlrabi is surprisingly good. Even LM agrees!
I love kohlrabi! It’s just so crazy expensive here. When I visited Germany in June I was almost tempted to leave again with my suitcase full of €0.20-on-special kohlrabis. I’ll have to keep a look out for the purple ones!
I think I paid $2.50 per kohlrabi this week, Bren’ – so not quite as cheap as in Germany. They taste really great, don’t they? I love this discovery part of my eating caper… 🙂
The photography of your mouthwatering recipes is the icing on the cake. I particularly love the colour co-ordinated serving dishes, they do look slightly familiar!
Cake. Did you mention cake? Where…?
I’m glad you noticed I’m getting good use out of the dishes! I love Omi’s pottery bowl, in particular. x
Now I really want a kohlrabi! A purple one. One of my kids used to adopt large vegetables when she was small. She’d sleep with them & carry them everywhere~ until they got slimy I took them away. She would have ADORED kohlrabi! Thanks for the inspiration…
I LOVE the idea of adopting a vegetable!
Seriously, Petra – try kohlrabi. Tastes amazing. And, given your aptitude for lateral thinking, I can’t wait to see what culinary masterpiece you come up with… 🙂
Yotam Ottolenghi’s book with Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem, is a gorgeous cookbook with stories and lovely recipes. Worth a look. I haven’t tried kohlrabi but you have inspired me to search one out and try it.
I have both ‘Plenty’ and ‘Jerusalem’ – I love them both!
Kohlrabi is definitely my new favourite. I bought two more yesterday!
I will look for Plenty. Thanks for that. Don’t over do the kohlrabi! 🙂
Oh – do tell me what you think? Yotam is due in Sydney for Good Food Month. I’m not seeing him (sadly) but am very keen to pick up his latest cookbook.
How exciting when an author you know is in town!
I am a big fan of slaw’s – have to be honest, no sign of a kohlrabi in my local supermarket
Kirsty – I don’t think I’ve ever seen them at a supermarket here, either. More of a farmers market veg’, I reckon.
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