As I mentioned last week, I could not identify one of the vegetables included in my last farm share delivery. The vegetable looked like a purple turnip/cabbage with leaves attached to green stalks. Good thing the farm included a vegetable key – we had received kohlrabi!
Kohlrabi (pronounced “coal RAH bee”) comes from the German words kohl, meaning cabbage, and rabi, meaning turnip. Its name is a perfect description of this vegetable. Even though the variety we received had a dark purple skin, it peels off easily to reveal a light yellow flesh. After sampling the roasted kohlrabi, SensitiveHusband and I agreed that it tastes like a turnip without any bitterness. This means that you can cook the vegetable with a variety of seasonings and they will flavor the mild kohlrabi very nicely.
Kohlrabi has a lot of nutrients (information from Nutrition and You):
*Kohlrabi is rich in vitamins such as potassium and manganese, and dietary fiber, but has only 27 calories per 100 g, virtually no fat, and zero cholesterol.
*Like other members of the brassica family, kohlrabi contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
*The vegetable contains good amounts of many B-complex vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
*Its creamy color flesh contains small amounts of vitamin A and carotenes. Kohlrabi leaves, like turnip greens, are also abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex vitamins.
The commercial production of kohlrabi is relatively low in the U.S. so there are not many statistics about the production or consumption of the vegetable. Perhaps in the coming years, as more people find them in their farm share boxes, try cooking them, and finding that they are tasty, consumption will increase and so will the statistics! Try this simple recipe below and see how tasty kohlrabi can be.
2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, sliced or minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Asiago (or other melty) cheese
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each slice in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven to allow the cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.