Kohlrabi is a member from the brassica family. Originating in Germany the direct translation is Cabbage (Kohl) Turnip (Rabi). Historically, it was often grown as cattle fodder, which seems a waste, given its nutritional content. Kohlrabi has been described as a "vegetable sputnik".
Kohlrabi has a mild flavour and can be substituted for turnip in any recipe. It's good steamed or boiled, eaten raw in salads, sliced and stir-fried and also great added to stews or soups, where it is brilliant for bulking things up, whilst absorbing all the wonderful flavours. The kohlrabi also has delicious leaves that are tender and are excellent used in salads or in a stir-fry.
BRAISED KOHLRABI WITH GARLIC & PARMESAN
Serves 2 as a side dish
1 tsp butter
1 kohlrabi, peeled & cut into thin strips
1 tsp minced garlic
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
Salt & pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan
Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the Kohlrabi and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the stock, bring it to the boil. Cover the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the kohlrabi is tender. Season to taste with salt & pepper, and serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
KOHLRABI & POTATO GRATIN
Serve as a main, with salad or as a side to roasted meat.
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, chopped
3 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp English mustard
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 kohlrabi, peeled & chopped
3 carrots, chopped
400g potatoes, peeled & chopped
150g red lentils
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fresh or 2 tsp dried parsley
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1-2 handfuls breadcrumbs
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and stir to form a paste, cook for 1 min. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add in the mustard and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, Add the kohlrabi and 2 chopped onions, and sauté until just soft. Add the carrots, lentils, potatoes, garlic, and water. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Combine with the white sauce and parsley. Season to taste. Transfer the mixture to a large shallow oven dish. Combine the cheese and breadcrumbs, and sprinkle over the top. Bake 35-45 mins, until the top is golden and the vegetables are soft.
KOHLRABI CARDAMOM & COCONUT CURRY
Serve this aromatic curry with rice and a naan for a vegetarian feast.
800g kohlrabi, peeled & cut into 2cm dice
1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
6 cardamom pods, crushed
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled & finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
2 green chillies, deseeded & finely chopped
Sea salt & black pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml coconut milk
Handful fresh coriander leaves
Cook the onion in the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat for 10 minutes until translucent. Add the kohlrabi and cook, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Stir in the mustard, cumin and fennel seeds and cook for 2 minutes, or until they pop. Add the ground spices, cardamom seeds, ginger, garlic and chillies and cook for 30 seconds. Season, add the tomatoes and water and simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add the coconut milk and cook for a further 10-15mins or until the kohlrabi is tender, then stir in the coriander to serve.