While the luscious piles of fresh vegetables at the farmers market can be appealing, they can also be really intimidating, especially if you’re unfamiliar with some of the produce. Take kohlrabi, the green vegetables pictured below. Kohlrabi is a root vegetable with a flavor similar to broccoli stems or cabbage and can be eaten raw or cooked.
But how do you prepare it? Today I’m bringing you three delicious kohlrabi recipes written and tested by the chefs of Somerville’s Cuisine en Locale, which produces the ONCE a Week CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) of cooked food showcasing local ingredients. Enjoy!
The recipes below highlight several local products, starting with fresh kohlrabi, which you can purchase at the Winter Farmers Market at Arts at the Armory (191 Highland Ave.) every Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. You can also find Soluna Garden Farm at the Winter Farmers Market on March 23.
5-6 medium-sized kohlrabi bulbs, trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/3 cups milk, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ cup thinly sliced smoked ham or bacon
¼ cup shredded sharp hard cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of Soluna Garden Farm’s Ras-el-Hanout
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Coat a 1½-quart shallow baking dish with oil.
- Cook kohlrabi in the boiling water until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain.
- Heat 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Whisk flour and the remaining 1/3 cup milk in a small bowl to make a smooth paste; stir into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, two to three minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in ham and cheese. Season with salt, pepper and Ras-el-Hanout.
- Distribute the cooked kohlrabi in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Bake the gratin until bubbling and golden on top, 30 to 40 minutes.
Piles of veggies at the Winter Farmers Market.
Kimchi “Kohl Slaw”
2 cups chopped cabbage
4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and grated
1 celeriac peeled and grated
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons crushed Korean red pepper (kochukaru)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons oil (sesame oil if desired)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
- Toss the cabbage, kohlrabi, celeriac, carrot and onion together in a large bowl.
- Whisk the honey, vinegar, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, red pepper and mayonnaise together in a separate bowl until smooth.
- Pour over the cabbage mixture and stir to coat evenly.
- Chill in refrigerator one hour before serving
Kohlrabi Stir Fry
3 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
3 medium carrots
4 tablespoons peanut or other oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch piece gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1-2 fresh chili peppers, sliced
Salt to taste
3 teaspoons sesame oil and soy sauce, each
4 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
- Slice kohlrabi and carrots into thin ovals.
- Heat peanut or other oil in large heavy skillet; when it begins to smoke, toss in garlic and ginger.
- Stir once then add kohlrabi and carrots; toss and cook two minutes.
- Add green onions and chilies; stir-fry one minute.
- Pour in ½ cup water. Cover, reduce heat and cook five minutes
- Remove cover and toss in a little salt, the sesame oil and soy sauce. Add the oyster sauce, if using.
- Serve with rice or noodles, or for a local spin, use rye or wheat berry pilaf.
Thanks Cuisine en Locale for the delicious recipe ideas! Cuisine en Locale’s cooked food shares, which are produced in Union Square at Kitchen Inc. (201 Somerville Ave.), are a great alternative to take-out and are an excellent solution for new parents, busy professionals and slammed students. They are available once a week for pick-up or delivery. You can learn more or place an order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. Last month, Cuisine en Locale showed us how to make kale four ways! Get the recipes here.