While picking up my CSA share both this week and the week prior, I couldn't help overhearing multiple people reach the kohlrabi bin and wonder out loud, "what should I do with THAT vegetable?" From its alien-like appearance, those new to kohlrabi may feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking this starchy Brassica.
Rest assured, you will not be disappointed by the variety of ways in which you can utilize the crop: shredded raw for slaw or sliced for crudités (uncooked, it tastes very much like broccoli stems), thickly-chopped for roasting, sliced thin for casseroles, boiled, baked, mashed... you can even blanch and saute the leaves with oil or butter. Rich in vitamin C and potassium, expand your dietary boundaries and let kohlrabi become a regular in your summer vegetable lineup.
The following recipe is a simple and delicious Mediterranean side dish, featuring oven-roasted kohlrabi with a chunky (faux) Romesco sauce of red bell pepper, almonds, garlic (scapes), and smoked paprika.
with Romesco Sauce
makes 2 servings
- 3 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic (or scapes), minced
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped (pine nuts or hazelnuts work, too)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1-2 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil, mint, or fennel fronds for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof pan on the stove; when hot, carefully add the kohlrabi, stir to coat, and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Occasionally stir the kohlrabi for even browning.
While roasting the bulbs, heat the other 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat; add the garlic (or scapes) and paprika and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, almonds, tomato paste (if using), and vinegar; cook until the peppers soften, again stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat; blend until desired consistency is reached (you could use either an immersion blender or food processor; I suggest the latter because of the nuts). If you would like a thinner sauce, you may need to add a splash of water and blend again. Serve with the kohlrabi and garnish with either fresh basil or mint chiffonade or fennel fronds. Enjoy!
Images by Rebekah Carter (2011). Recipe adapted from Six Course Dinner.