Last year we joined a CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, joining with a bi-weekly plan. Every other week, I go pick up a box at a nearby church, but there are locations all over metro Atlanta. I often go with a neighbor, which makes for fun conversations in the car, and convenience if one of us picks up the box for the other.
Last week I got a lovely box, full of beautiful lettuce heads, two big red tomatoes, baby kale, cabbage, Nappa cabbage, green onions, and radishes so fresh the greens could be sautéed (I did, adding a few julienned cabbage leaves for texture), plus the beautifully fresh, nicely trimmed kohlrabi, which we cooked last year, but once again, we were saying “What do you do with a kohlrabi?
If you haven’t tried kohlrabi, the entire plant is rather interesting looking before the leaves and stems are trimmed–my CSA carpool friend said they look kind of like a monster! I think it tastes like a cross between a turnip and a rutabaga, the most-hated vegetable of my childhood, with the texture more like a turnip’s, which I think is a good thing! I’ve heard that the name means “cabbage-turnip” in German. The leaves and stems can be diced into soups (if you have them), and kohlrabi is a nutritious cruciferous, at about 40 calories a cup, uncooked. It can be roasted, steamed, boiled, sautéed in butter or olive oil with a little water, or served raw. The important preparation tip we learned last year is to peel it very well–there’s a thin shiny layer with a tough layer just underneath, a small paring knife works best.
Last year, we had never tried kohlrabi, so we always used a published recipe, following it to the letter, one roasted chunks like a potato, others cooked thin slices in water, seasoning with butter, salt and pepper. I wanted to do something a little more interesting, and this side dish is the result.
Kohlrabi with Onions and Mushrooms
1 Kohlrabi bulb, trimmed and thick skin peeled, quartered and sliced 1/4″ thick
1 tablespoon butter (or EVOO)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 teaspoon frest tarragon, basil OR oregano (1/2 teaspoon dried)
Black pepper and salt, to taste
Grated Parmesan to taste
Once everything is peeled, sliced and chopped as noted above, including an herb from your garden if possible, melt the butter in a large pan that has a lid, then cook onion until opaque, stirring occasionally. Add kohlrabi, cook and stir about a minute, then add your desired herb and 3-4 tablespoons water (more if dried). Cover and let it cook on low about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, cook covered 3-5 minutes more, stirring and checking . It is done when kohlrabi can be pierced easily with a fork. Season to taste, and add parmesan to each serving. Serves 2-3 as a side dish.
If you live in Metro Atlanta, I recommend Riverview Produce CSA, http://csa.farmigo.com, or connect with them on FaceBook at Riverview Farms Produce CSA.
I wonder what I’ll do next time I get a kohlrabi in my box..maybe a few cracker-sized slices as an appetizer, or shred it raw with carrots into a crunchy salad. I’m all for anything cool when the weather is this hot!