If you sometimes feel worn out by all the exotic superfoods from faraway lands we’re supposed to be adopting daily, good news: We’re here to talk to you now about a vegetable that’s delicious, chock-full of great nutrition, and a humble member of the cabbage family.
It’s kohlrabi, that odd-looking bulb you’ve likely seen at farmer’s markets or in your CSA box.
Here’s what you should know about kohlrabi
1. It’s in season in fall and winter.
2. When raw, it tastes like a slightly spicier version of broccoli stem, like a mix between broccoli stem and radish. When cooked, it’s a bit sweeter, especially if caramelized. You can cut it into cubes or wedges and roast it, or slice or cut into matchsticks and stir-fry.
3. You’ll see white, pale green, and purple bulbs. They all have a creamy white interior.
4. The leaves are edible (and loaded with iron); add them to a salad or sauté with garlic as you would mustard or beet greens.
5. Kohlrabi is a good source of fiber, vitamins C and B6, and potassium.
6. A cup (raw) has just 36 calories.
How to buy kohlrabi
7. Select: Choose kohlrabi that are small, fresh-looking, and free or cracks or blemishes. They should be firm to the touch. Larger bulbs tend to be tougher.
8. Store: Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer; it will keep for up to 5 days.
9. Prep: Peel the tough outer part with a vegetable peeler. Slice, cut into wedges or cubes, or shred.
What can I make with kohlrabi?
There are tons of uses for this versatile vegetable. Here are a few favorites:
10. Thinly slice (I use a mandolin for this), lay on a plate, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper for a simple appetizer or salad topper.
11. Add thin slices to a cold-weather salad with apple, frisee and manchego, drizzled with a lemon-mustard vinaigrette. (Top with a little bit of crumbled bacon, if you like.)
12. Cut raw kohlrabi into sticks and add it to a crudité platter to dunk into a dip.
13. Cut into cubes, mix with cubed butternut squash, toss with olive oil, a dash of maple syrup, salt and pepper and roast.
14. Shred and mix into your favorite slaw recipe. Or take the slaw mix and stir-fry it with ginger, garlic and soy sauce and turn it into a quick, delicious moo shu that’s way better than takeout.
15. Chop and simply sauté with olive oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.