Don’t be snobby, try kohlrabi

Here goes post #2 on my journey to cook unfamiliar, “dangerous,” foods that are new to our family.  Thanks for joining us on our adventures!

So the nicest thing about kohlrabi is that I’m pretty sure it would keep just about forever.  Apparently it was originally bred from cabbages, which keep forever, along with its other hearty cousins broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts.  Cabbages are parents with pretty good genes, I must say, although the entire family can make one more than a little gassy.  Ugh.

Here is what kohlrabi looks like lounging on our cutting board…

And here is what it looks like smiling, pinched from the simplyrecipes.com website:

One of the other nice things about kohlrabi is that it tastes pretty good.  I cooked it simply, and I cooked all of it, bulbs and greens included (although separately).  Both parts of it were tasty even without using extravagant ingredients to dress them up.

I cooked the greens into a pesto using the following ingredients and recipe on the advice of the good bloggers at withforkandknife.com.  They used walnuts, though, which I swapped for pistachios.  We have a nut allergy in our house, so we don’t have many nuts kicking around, but I did happen to have some pistachios and I find they go well with pork.  I served the pesto over pork tenderloin after having roasted it in the oven only with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 35 minutes.

Kohlrabi Pesto

1 cup Kohlrabi greens, washed and dried
Small piece of parmesan (approx 2 tablespoons), roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pistachios OR toasted walnuts
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

http://withforkandknife.com/2011/06/30/garlicky-pork-chop-with-kohlrabi-green-pesto/ 

 

As a veggie side for our pork, I peeled and sliced the kohlrabi bulbs according to the following recipe.  It was very basic, but sometimes a basic veggie is nice if you don’t have many other ingredients to draw from at the time.  It also might be nice for picky eaters.  I also served mashed potatoes to fill the bellies of my picky kids.

Braised Kohlrabi

2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 medium kohlrabi
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth, or to cover
1 tablespoon lemon juice

http://southernfood.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/r80401f.htm

Overall impressions:  All good!  Both recipes were easy and quick to prepare.  The pesto was just as good, if not better than the standard basil pesto that I also usually make from scratch in my trusty food processor.  It had an extra kick somehow.  The kohlrabi pesto would be nice on pasta even though I used it over pork, and then the bulbs would keep for another meal weeks (months?) later.  As for the braised bulbs, I think I would choose another recipe next time, and I don’t think I would serve it for guests unless I was looking to be cautious of shy palates, and then I wouldn’t tell them it was kohlrabi because the name would scare them off!  The braised kohlrabi had the consistency of sauteed turnip, but shouldn’t be compared in flavour, being much softer.  My husband ate everything without a grumble, which is important for you to know.  He’s usually not grumbly, but he is quick to be skeptical about what he doesn’t know and doesn’t seek out food adventures.

One final interesting fact – according to Wikipedia, this versatile veggie is eaten three or four times per week by people living in Kashmir.  Apparently dishes using mutton are also popular there, so this might be a good pairing for a future meal.

Ratings:  3 yums for the pesto, but only 1 yum for the braised kohlrabi.

4 thoughts on “Don’t be snobby, try kohlrabi

  1. Not only am I a ‘picky kid’ type of eater, I also like ‘quick and easy'; kohlrabi and I might have a date in the near future! Great idea for a blog – love reading about the adventures in cooking. =)

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I have tons of kohlrabi greens from my garden & didn’t know what to do with them.
    I made this recipe with walnuts, and omitted the Parmesan (because I had run out, oops) so had to add a pinch of salt. Served on noodles, and only heard rave reviews from 7 year old “food critic” ;) Thanks!

    • Fantastic! My Dad just told me he planted some kohlrabi in his garden for me this year, so when it comes up I’ll be sure to make the pesto again! Pleasing a 7 year old food critic is a subject worthy of its own blog – glad it worked out.

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