If you're a vegetable gardener, sometimes it's fun to try growing something different that you've never grown before. Have you ever tried kohlrabi? It's an unusual-looking vegetable, but it's really tasty, and really good for you.
Kohlrabi is part bulb, like a turnip, and part greens, like a cabbage, with a mild taste of both, as well as a hint of broccoli and Brussels sprouts. In fact the word word "Kohlrabi" means "turnip cabbage."
This vegetable is a bit obscure and underrated, but it tastes good and, because it's loaded with Vitamin C and potassium, is very nutritious.
Kohlrabi is a cool-weather vegetable that grows quickly, maturing and ready to eat in just six to eight weeks. The bulb grows above ground, with lots of pale green leaves that are also edible. Depending on variety, the bulb can be white, light green or purple on the outside, and creamy white on the inside.
It is ready to harvest when the bulbs get to be about three to four inches in diameter. Just clip them from the root that extends above the ground.
Kohlrabi may be one of the lesser-known vegetables, but once you give it a try, it will likely become a permanent part of your vegetable garden. Plant some seeds now, and you'll be able to harvest some fresh and tasty kohlrabi by early October.
If you're not interested in growing it, but would like to try cooking with kohlrabi, it's worth noting that it can be a little difficult to find in supermarkets. But it usually be found at farmers markets, garden stands and specialty stores like Whole Foods.
To give you an idea of how to use kohlrabi in the kitchen, we invited Chef Lou Aaron from Westside Drive-in to share an easy kohlrabi recipe.
"It kind of takes on the flavor of cabbage when you eat it, but it's got the texture of a turnip," Chef Lou said. "So we're going to mix it with a couple of things. It's so mellow in its taste that we're going to add some apples and sweeteners to it, so we're going to make a little Apple-Kohlrabi Slaw."
"You know you're going to get a healthy meal, even though it is a really strange-looking vegetable."
CHEF LOU’S APPLE-KOHLRABI SLAW with FRIED GREENS & CHIPS
1 apple, julienned
1-2 kohlrabi, julienned
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 Tbls lemon zest
1/2 cup cheddar cheese cubes
1 tsp fresh sage, minced
1 tsp fresh lemon thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix with wire whisk until well blended and creamy. Pour over slaw mix and toss well.
Kohlrabi leaves, sliced into narrow strips
Quick fry in hot oil. (Be careful of splashback due to high moisture content in leaves.) Sprinkle over slaw.
1 kohlrabi, thinly sliced
Fry in hot oil until browned and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste.