Farmers markets opened in Fairfax County last week, and there are already so many delicious, local veggies just waiting to be plucked. I’m always looking for new and interesting things to try, and it seems the local vendors are keen to introduce new products. We live in a culturally diverse area, and the vendors themselves often represent far-reaching cultures and countries.
Kohlrabi isn’t really a stranger to market stands, but its unusual appearance may dissuade some customers. Though it looks like a root vegetable, it’s really a bulb, with several tentacle-like stems emerging from the base. It’s a “cole crop,” a genus now commonly referred to Brassicas. Yes, it’s related to broccoli, kale, and mustard. German in origin, kohlrabi was only introduced to the U.S. in the past century. There are purple and white varieties, but the flavor is the same for either. Kohlrabi tastes milder than turnip, with a sweet, crisp bite. This is a cool season crop, so get to a market while kohlrabi is still in season!
To prepare kohlrabi, remove the stems, and gently peel the outer layer from the bulb. It can be eaten raw, sautéed in butter, or roasted. I love to slice it into thin rounds, sprinkle it with a teaspoon of sugar, and douse it with lemon juice. Here’s another recipe I adapted, replacing celery with kohlrabi:
Kohlrabi Apple Slaw
- 2 kohlrabi bulb
- 1 apple (chose your favorite variety)
- 1/4 olive oil
- 3 T. lemon juice
- 1 t. stone-ground mustard
- 1/4 t. salt
- Wash kohlrabi, remove stems, and peel outer skin.
- Slice the kohlrabi into matchsticks.
- Wash and slice the apple into matchsticks.
- Combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt.
- Stir dressing into the sliced apples and kohlrabi.
- Serve immediately, or up to 2 days later.