Master the Art of Handling Kohlrabi: Tips for Success with this Cabbage Cousin
Don't be fooled by its appearance: kohlrabi may look like a root vegetable, but it's actually a relative of cabbage, emitting a cabbage-like aroma and possessing the taste of broccoli stems. It's an excellent substitute for cabbage or turnips.
Kohlrabi bulbs come in both green and purple, and are surrounded by two layers of stiff leaves attached in a rosette. The long leafy greens are situated at the top and can be eaten raw or cooked in its entirety. Kohlrabi can be prepared in various ways, such as sautéing, steaming, stuffing, roasting, creaming, or adding to soup or stew.
The sweeter taste of smaller kohlrabi bulbs is preferable, and it matures into a more radish-like flavor. Look for fresh leaves and firm bulbs to indicate recent harvest and quality, respectively.
To prepare kohlrabi, you'll need a vegetable peeler, a cutting board, and a sharp knife, as well as a baking sheet, oven-safe dish, or deep pot, depending on your preferred cooking method. Immediately cut off the greens, storing them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Preparing the bulb entails removing the woody skin with a utensil, such as a vegetable peeler or knife, and removing any spongy or brown spots. Cut the bulb in half, ensuring that it's solid all the way through by discarding any bad areas, leaving only the firm bulb. Slice kohlrabi thinly for faster cooking times, sautéing, or stir-frying, or cut into larger cubes for stews, roasting, or stuffing. Kohlrabi can also be grated, sliced, diced, or julienned and added to salads or slaws for a crunchy texture and flavorful addition.
This versatile vegetable can be puréed, roasted, steamed, or stir-fried, or served as a simple side dish by sautéing sliced kohlrabi in butter and caramelizing it until al dente, seasoned with salt, nutmeg, and a dash of sugar. In Germany, it's a popular vegetable loaded with cream, and can be boiled in broth or salted water until tender and served with a cream sauce made from the cooking liquid. Hungarians adore kohlrabi, too - the vegetable is puréed until smooth and served as cream soup or stuffed with ground or leftover pork and beef, egg, and sour cream.
Dare to go au naturel and savor the crunch of kohlrabi in its purest form. Delicately slice the bulb into thin rounds and toss it into your go-to greens for an added depth of texture. Alternatively, impress your guests by arranging the sliced kohlrabi onto a colorful vegetable platter and dip into a delectable concoction.
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