Everything You Need To Know About Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is a milder, sweeter tasting member of the brassica family (which also includes cauliflower and broccoli). The flavour is hard to pinpoint but has been described as somewhere in between a turnip, radish and cauliflower – some say it tastes like the peeled stem of broccoli, which is delicious, especially when added to stir fry.
There are several varieties available, including white, purple and green. The purple colour is limited to the outer layers though; inside is generally all pale yellow.
How to Select and Store:
When picking out kohlrabi, you want to select ones that have a smooth skin without cracks. Depending on the variety, they may be light green, white or crimson in colour. If the leaves are attached (they are sometimes sold separately), they should be firm and green – avoid yellow leaves.
Store the bulbs and leaves separately, preferably in perforated plastic bags. While the leaves should be used within several days, the bulbs will last for about two weeks.
How to Prepare:
To prepare kohlrabi, slice off the stems and you can use the leaves and stems much like spinach.
Small, tender kohlrabi doesn’t need to be peeled. Larger kohlrabi will have a thicker, fibrous skin that should be peeled with a vegetable peeler or sharp paring knife before eating. Kohlrabi can be prepped in many ways: shredded, julienned, diced, sliced, or cubed. It can even be scooped out and stuffed.
Kohlrabi has so many uses and the bulbs are delicious in stews, braised, boiled, steamed, fried, glazed like a carrot, stuffed with cheese and potato, or simply roasted with olive oil and salt. The leaves can be sautéed in butter and are perfection with a little grated Parmesan cheese on top.
How to Freeze:
According to the National Centre for Home Food Preservation, you can freeze kohlrabi bulbs. Wash and remove any tough stems, then blanch for 3 minutes whole or one minute if cut into cubes. Then drain, cool and freeze in food grade plastic wrap or airtight container.
The leaves could also be cooked and frozen, similar to spinach. Once defrosted, it would be recommended that the leaves be added to soups, curries or stews as they will not look as attractive as they were when fresh.
- If a recipe calls for rutabaga or water chestnuts, try something new and substitute with kohlrabi.
- Try kohlrabi as a crunchy appetizer. Peel and slice it, sprinkle with a touch of salt and enjoy it raw!
- Take advantage of kohlrabi’s great crunch by grating it in a salad or adding it thinly sliced to a sandwich.
- When sautéing or steaming, Kohlrabi is cooked when it’s tender crisp. When roasted, kohlrabi is cooked when fork-tender.
- Add extra flavour to your favourite coleslaw recipe by adding kohlrabi.
- Kohlrabi is typically added to curries. However, it’s slightly crunchy and mildly spicy flavour also compliments more subtle food pairings. Try adding it to your next batch of creamy potato or broccoli soup.
What Does Kohlrabi Go Well With?
Dairy: Butter, sour cream, parmesan, swiss cheese, and cream
Fruits and Veggies: Cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, fennel, celery root, potatoes, spinach, turnips, corn, bean sprouts, lemons, and apples.
Herbs and Spices: Mustard, cilantro, dill, garlic, and salt
Savoury: Sesame oil, bacon, rice, quinoa, seafood, chicken, and beef.
Enjoy versatile kohlrabi raw, steamed, fried, boiled, baked, grilled or roasted! Just ensure you remove any tough outer skin before eating the bulbs and eat the leaves as you would kale or spinach.
In addition to being eaten on its own, kohrabi is delicious added to soups, stews and curries. They can be stir fried with other veggies and served over rice for a quick dinner and even cooked and mashed in with potatoes.
According to the Canadian Nutrient File, 100g of raw Kohlrabi contains 103% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, 14% of fibre (3.6 g), 10% of potassium, 8% of vitamin B6, 7% of manganese, 6% of copper and 4% of phosphorus.