How to Cook Kohlrabi – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian
Wondering how to cook kohlrabi? Looking for kohlrabi recipes and more information on kohlrabi nutrition? I’ve got you covered in this guide to how to prepare kohlrabi.
Have you ever spied the intriguing vegetable kohlrabi in your supermarket or farmers market and wondered how to cook kohlrabi? You’re not alone! Kohlrabi is a healthy, versatile, seasonal vegetable worth getting to know better. I love trying less familiar vegetables in my plant-powered kitchen, and kohlrabi is one that you can find in farmers markets, home gardens, and supermarkets in the cooler months.
What is Kohlrabi?
Kohlrabi is a highly nutritious vegetable, which is part of the famous cruciferous vegetable family, along with cabbage, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts. Known as the “German turnip” because of its resemblance to turnips, kohlrabi literally translates to “cabbage turnip.” Originally from northern Europe, this unique looking bulb was unknown in the U.S. until the early 1800s.
These pungent vegetables have phytochemicals that are linked with cancer protection. Rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, K and the Bs, you can’t go wrong with adding this vegetable to your lineup.
What Does Kohlrabi Taste Like?
Its flavor, which is like a milder, sweeter turnip, has also been likened to broccoli stems. Be sure to eat them when they’re young, as the flavor intensifies and they toughen with age. The freshness of the attached greens is a good indicator of age, so try to find kohlrabi with greens attached.
How to Prepare Kohlrabi
Don’t be afraid of its unusual, knobby appearance. Kohlrabi is made up of a bulb (usually pale white-green or purple) with stalks of leaves sprouting up. How to eat kohlrabi? If the greens are young and fresh, use them like other greens—raw in salads, sautéed, or steamed. You can use the crunchy bulb in fresh slaws or with dips; cooked in soups or stews; roasted like you might other vegetables, or sautéed in stir-fries or fritters.
Keep reading to learn how to cook kohlrabi and use it in your kitchen!
How to Cook Kohlrabi
1. Roasted Kohlrabi. One of my favorite ways to enjoy kohlrabi is roasted. Cut into small, uniform chunks, roasting caramelizes them beautifully, sweetening their flavor deliciously. Toss them with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper, and add a few herbs—I like the flavor of thyme here—and finish with a drizzle of your favorite vinegar if you like. Try them in my recipe, Roasted Kohlrabi with Pumpkin Seeds—garlic, cumin, pumpkin seeds, and white wine vinegar really make them shine.
2. Enjoy it Raw. Take advantage of this veggie’s raw crunch! Sliced into discs or matchsticks, kohlrabi is a nice change served with your favorite veggie dip. It also adds a novel kick to salads with its subtly spicy flavor, similar to a mild radish. Definitely give grated kohlrabi a go in slaws. Tossed with a good quality olive oil and lightly seasoned, it’s so good, but try mixing in other slaw faves for color and flavor, like I do in my recipe, Shaved Kohlrabi, Carrot, Radish Slaw.
3. Try Sautéing. This is the perfect way to use the whole veggie. Both the crunchy bulb and the tender greens can be utilized, complementing the different textures and similar flavors each brings to the pan. Be sure to slice the bulb into small slices for quicker cooking and add them to the pan ahead of the greens, which just need a short wilt. Delightful with lemon juice or light vinegar, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs or pine nuts, this is a quick meal, perfect for weeknights.
4. Steam up a Batch. Kohlrabi is incredibly versatile. Cut or slice as desired, steam, and most anything goes. Add steamed kohlrabi to dishes, like stir fries, pasta, soups, and stews. It’s also fun to mash them with cauliflower or potatoes.
5. Fry some Fritters. Who says you can’t play with your vegetables! Kids absolutely love fritters—as do adults, for that matter—and kohlrabi makes the ideal fritter. Grate the bulb and mix it into a batter of flour or breadcrumbs. Bake or fry—frying gives them that nice crisp exterior—and enjoy on their own or with your favorite dip or sauce, like cashew cream.
For other guides on using seasonal produce, check out the following:
Top 5 Ways to Use Sweet Potatoes
Top 5 Ways to Use Chickpeas
Top 5 Ways to Use Jackfruit
Top 5 Ways to Use Quinoa