Kohlrabi looks like a cross between a
cabbage and a turnip and is often classified as a root vegetable, even
though it grows above ground. It is a member of the brassica family, but
unlike cabbages, it is the bulbous stalk that is edible rather than the
flowering heads. There are two varieties of kohlrabi. One is purple and
the other is pale green. They both have the same mild and fresh tasting
flavor, not dissimilar to water chestnuts. It is neither as peppery as
turnip nor as distinctive as cabbage, but it is easy to see why people
think it a little like both. It can be served as an alternative to
carrots or turnips.
History : Although kohlrabi is not a
very popular vegetable in Britain, it is commonly eaten in other parts
of Europe, as well as in China, India and Asia. In Kashmir, where it is
grown extensively, there are many recipes - the bulbs are often finely
sliced and eaten in salads and the greens are cooked in mustard oil with
garlic and chilies.
Buying and Storing : Kohlrabi is best
when small and young, since larger specimens tend to be coarse and
fibrous. It keeps well for 7-10 days if stored in a cool place.
Preparing : Peel the skin with a
knife and then cook whole or slice.
Cooking : Very small kohlrabi are
tender and can be cooked whole. However, if they are any bigger than 5cm
in diameter, they can be stuffed. To do this, hollow out a little before
cooking and then stuff with fried onions and tomatoes for instance. For
sliced kohlrabi, cook until just tender and serve with butter or a
creamy sauce. They can also be cooked long and slow in gratin dishes.
Alternatively, par-boil them and bake in the oven covered with a cheese