"What the heck is kohlrabi?" my roommate asked, perplexed, as we reviewed the contents of our market share. It was our first summer signing up for a weekly share of locally-grown, organic produce, and we were about to learn a whole lot – namely, a whole lot about vegetables we had no idea even existed. If you like eating local, I'm sure you'll agree: there's nothing like perusing your local farmers market for discovering uncharted vegetable territory. I mean, who knew carrots came in purple? Or cauliflower, in orange? Romaneso broccoli is apparently a thing. Jicama and Durian aren't far-off places, they're things you can eat. And do, because they're included in your weekly market share. But the absolute king of weirdo vegetables has to be kohlrabi.
Fearsome to behold, the kohlrabi has been compared to the germinating spawn of extraterrestrials. It's got a thick, rubbery skin, which can be purple or light green. Despite its bulbous appearance, it's actually a member of the cabbage family. I personally think that, cooked, it tastes kind of like a cross between turnips and cauliflower. Some people (who probably think I'm crazy) say it tastes like a hybrid of cabbage and broccoli stems. I don't know who's right. Probably me. Anyway. EAT KOHLROBI. That's my advice. Because even though it's totally weird, and a little scary, it's delicious! Especially when it's cooked, it's got quite a mild flavor, and a really nice texture. And best of all, if you don't know where to start, I've got a tested-and-approved, delicious, sure-to-please kohlrabi recipe right here! Once you taste it, you'll be scouring summer farmers market for your weird-looking, purple fix.
2 lb. kohlrabi
1 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1.) Grab a small skillet – around 12" should do. On a sheet of parchment paper, trace around the pan. Cut out a circle just slightly smaller than your drawing, so that it fits nicely inside the skillet.
2.) Trim the leafy stems off the kohlrabi, and cut into 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on.
3.) Combine kohlrabi, chicken stock, 2 tbsp. butter, and thyme in a saucepan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, then cover with your parchment-paper circle.
4.) Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until kohlrabi is tender.
5.) Uncover and remove pan from heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. of butter, swirling skillet until butter melts. Serve warm.
Super easy! I'm not convinced the parchment paper part is necessary... do any more experienced cooks have thoughts on this? If anyone tries it without parchment paper, let me know how it comes out. I hope some of you are inspired to try kohlrabi for the first time! :) Bon appétit, Vinglers!