Ok, let’s be honest, some foods just look weird. They are different and strange and make us wonder who would ever think to eat these things.
Kohlrabi fits into this category. It usually only makes an appearance at farmer’s markets or CSAs. Since they are so different, many people just pass them by. They forget about them until the next year when they reappear.
For those who have decided to ask the vendor or their CSA farmer about this bumpy little ball, they usually end up being fans.
Let’s have a closer look at kohlrabi.
What is Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family. You may come across kohlrabi that are different colours (white, green, crimson, or purple). No matter the skin colour, the inside is always a pale yellowy-green colour.
Both the bulb and leaves are edible. The stems are usually not used because they can be woody and by the time you peel the skin off, there is very little left to eat.
When eaten raw, it has a flavour a lot like broccoli stems – but a tad sweeter. Some people say it reminds them of mild radish.
Just like other vegetables with stems and tops (carrots, beets, etc.), it is important to cut off the tops if you plan on storing kohlrabi in the fridge for a few days. The tops will pull moisture from the bulb if left attached.
- There is no need to wash or peel kohlrabi before storing. Brush off any excess dirt and check for bugs.
- Cut off leaves and store separately in containers or bags. The leaves are best used within a few days.
- Use bulbs within a week for best flavour.
Kohlrabi is a good candidate for freezing.
- Separate the leaves, stems, and bulb. Discard the stems.
- Leaves can be frozen if blanched for 30 seconds first. After blanching, place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once blanched, dry the leaves and lay them flat on a baking sheet and place in freezer. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag or container. Don’t forget to label with the name and date.
- To freeze kohlrabi bulbs, trim the end of the bulb and peel off the tough outer skin. Whole bulbs require blanching for 3 minutes in boiling water. If you cut up the bulbs, blanch for 1 minute. Once blanched, place directly into ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, dry the bulbs and place onto a baking sheet and put into the freezer. When frozen, transfer to a freezer safe bag or container. Don’t forget to label with the name and date.
Keep in mind that frozen kohlrabi will not have the same texture as fresh. But, it is great to use in things like soups and stews.
Uses For Kohlrabi
When you are ready to cook or eat the kohlrabi bulbs, be sure to peel them. The skin is very tough and fibrous. A vegetable peeler may not cut it here. Using a paring knife is quicker and easier.
Using raw bulbs:
- Raw kohlrabi will have a stronger flavour raw. I recommend tasting it raw to see if it is to your liking. Use sliced in salads or coleslaw.
- Raw slices can be eaten on their own with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of salt.
- Leaves can be used just as you would kale or beet greens.
- Add slivered kohlrabi to salads. Check our Salad Generator for some ideas.
- Cooking kohlrabi really mellows out the flavour and it becomes much sweeter.
- Cook kohlrabi any way you would cook other vegetables (roast, braise, sauté, boil). Learn more about various cooking techniques.
- Combine kolhrabi with other vegetables and then roast or sauté. Get some ideas for roasting kohlrabi with our Roasted Vegetables Generator
- Add kohlrabi to stir-fries. They take about as much time as sliced carrots.
Do you love kohlrabi? Let us know how you like to eat or prepare it.