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I never even saw a kohlrabi before I moved to Minnesota from New York—I’m pretty sure the first one I ever encountered was at a farmer’s market, and I thought it was a very clean celeriac. It wasn’t! Kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable, in the same family as turnips, cabbages and so on, and over the years I’ve fallen in love with it. It’s peak kohlrabi season in the farmer’s markets, so I say dive on in and get a bunch. What do you do next? This!
Kohlrabi: The Basics
The way I use kohlrabi most frequently is just to cut it up like carrot-sticks, it’s very crunchy and slots in to veggie platters very well—and never forget it’s a cruciferous vegetable, like nutritional powerhouse broccoli, and so is just good for you. It’s got high levels of potassium, copper, and vitamins C and K, and then it’s just good—a little sweet like an apple, a little radishy like a radish, mainly just very crunchy. It’s actually not a root vegetable. The fat old kohlrabi bit is the low part of the plant’s stem. Once it’s cut up, serve it with ranch dressing, why don’t you?
Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Dressing
Kohlrabi Carrot Kimchi
This is super on-trend, and you can either make your own kimchi or just do what I do: Take your thinly sliced kohlrabi, add some grated carrots and segments of scallion or chives, and then toss it all with some store-bought kimchi. Add sesame seeds. You’re done! After an hour or four in the fridge all the flavors marry, and it’s a very good thing—and nearly too easy.
Whole Oven-Roasted Kohlrabi
Can you take a whole kohrabi, not peel it, roast it in a hot oven and then slip the whole vegetable out of its skin like a beet? Yes! Yes you can. After you do it kind of tastes like an artichoke heart, and you can pair it with olive oil and feta cheese, and pile it on a platter like they do in Tel Aviv.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Kohlrabi, Apple, Beet Salad with Cilantro
Want a pot-luck kohlrabi recipe you can scale up big time? You can make this with raw beets or cooked, you can make it all with the grater-disc in your food processor if you don’t mind how that looks—but just make it, it’s good. Just about equal parts thinly sliced apple and kohlrabi, with grated beets, cilantro leaves, and a garlic-olive oil-lemon vinaigrette. Easy, really good.
This is the best kohlrabi recipe. The very best one! It’s basically a quick pickle, you just slice up the kohlrabi, salt it and let it wilt, drain any liquid that weeps out, then toss with a dressing of garlic, cilantro, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil and lime juice and zest. If you make a massive batch you can pile everything except the cilantro into a jar and eat it for a few weeks, adding fresh cilantro or even just different garden herbs like chives as you go.