Let's explore one of the most underrated veggies out there - kohlrabi. This unique vegetable provides a sweet and peppery flavor, along with many health benefits. Plus, I've got an awesome Kohlrabi slaw recipe you can use to create your own delicious side dish.
🥜 In a Nutshell
- Kohlrabi is a unique member of the Brassica family, not a turnip, and it grows as a bulbous stem above the ground. It's available in green and purple varieties and stands out for its low glycemic index, making it a smart choice for maintaining blood sugar levels and supporting bone health, thanks to its calcium and magnesium content.
- Kohlrabi is a subtly sweet veggie with a touch of peppery spice. Think of it as having the same satisfying crunch as broccoli stems or jicama.
- I love it raw in salads or with veggies and fruits, a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar works wonders. When cooked, it becomes sweeter and nuttier, especially with thyme or rosemary. The leaves are milder and sweet, perfect for sautéing or adding to soups and stews.
- I enjoy kohlrabi raw, roasted for caramelized goodness, sautéed for a quick dish, or steamed for those nutrients.
- Can't find kohlrabi? Try jicama, radishes, broccoli stems, celery root, or turnips – each has its unique flair in the kitchen.
- As you are exploring this vegetable, you may find the following useful:
❓ What is Kohlrabi?
Despite its secondary name German turnip or cabbage turnip, kohlrabi doesn't actually belong to the turnip family. It's a member of the Brassica family, along with other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Kohlrabi is often mistaken for a root vegetable, but it's actually a stem that grows above the ground. It has a slightly bulbous shape and comes in either green or purple varieties.
One of the best things about this vegetable is its low glycemic index. That means that it won't spike your blood sugar levels, which can help improve satiety and glycemic control. Additionally, kohlrabi is a great source of calcium and magnesium, which are both essential for strong bones.
🍈 What Does Kohlrabi Taste Like?
Kohlrabi has a subtly sweet taste with a hint of peppery spice. It offers a satisfying crunch and texture, similar to broccoli stems or jicama. This versatile vegetable can be enjoyed raw or cooked, making it a great addition to salads and stir-fries.
For the best flavor and tenderness, choose small bulbs when cooking kohlrabi. When cooked, it develops a sweeter, slightly nutty taste that pairs well with herbs like thyme or rosemary.
It makes a perfect replacement for turnips or radishes in recipes. To enhance its sweetness, add a pinch of sugar while cooking. Roasting or grilling Kohlrabi can also bring out its natural flavor.
Don't forget the raw kohlrabi leaves! They have a milder, sweeter taste and can be sautéed or used in soups and stews, offering a tasty and nutritious addition to any meal.
🔪 How To Cut Kohlrabi
Preparing kohlrabi may seem difficult, but with these easy steps, you can prep them in no time.
- Before you begin cutting your kohlrabi, remove any leaves or stalks attached to it.
- Then, slice off the root's top and bottom so it can stand steadily on your cutting board. Make sure to trim just enough to visibly see the white flesh inside.
- Using a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the thick skin and any tough outer layers that may be present.
- Kohlrabi has a fibrous outer layer that can be tough to chew, so removing it before slicing into it is important.
- After trimming and peeling, cut your kohlrabi into desired shapes and sizes. For fries or wedges, slice the kohlrabi in half and then slice each half into wedges. You can also cut it into thin, even slices or dice it. It's up to you!
- Kohlrabi will last a few days in the fridge, but storing it in an airtight container is best to prevent air from drying it out and making it tough.
- If you're not planning on using it within a few days, you can also freeze it so it lasts longer. Frozen kohlrabi can be used in soups, stews, and casseroles.
👩🍳 How To Cook Kohlrabi
I'll cover the basics of cooking with kohlrabi, including raw consumption and cooking methods and the best herbs, spices, and sauces to pair with it.
1. Raw consumption:
- One of the easiest ways to enjoy kohlrabi is by eating it raw.
- You can add thin slices or julienned pieces of kohlrabi bulbs to your salads for a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor.
- Kohlrabi pairs well with other fresh vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, and radishes. You can also mix it with fruits like apples, pears, or grapes for a sweeter salad.
- Dress it lightly with olive oil and vinegar or a citrus dressing to keep the flavors simple.
2. Cooking methods:
- Roasting: You can roast it in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper for a caramelized flavor and a crispy texture.
- Sautéing: For a faster cooking method, sauté it in a pan with some garlic and butter or oil until it's soft and tender.
- Steaming: If you want to retain the nutrients in kohlrabi while ensuring it doesn't become too mushy, steaming it is a great option. It's important to peel the skin off kohlrabi before cooking it using any method as it can be tough and fibrous.
3. Flavor pairings:
- When it comes to spices and herbs, kohlrabi pairs well with lots of different flavors.
- You can try using cumin, coriander, paprika, or turmeric for a warming, earthy taste.
- Alternatively, try using dill or parsley for a fresh and bright addition to your dishes.
- Sauces are also a great way to add flavor to kohlrabi, like a creamy aioli or a tangy vinaigrette.
🥡 How To Store
Here are some tips on how to store kohlrabi to keep it fresh and delicious.
- To maintain the freshness of your kohlrabi, follow these simple storage methods.
- Remove any attached leaves, as they can draw out moisture.
- Next, store the kohlrabi in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight.
- You can use a pantry or the refrigerator, but if you opt for the fridge, keep it in a plastic bag or vegetable crisper drawer to preserve its moisture.
- For the tastiest experience, consume your kohlrabi within a week after purchase. After that, it might lose its crunch and flavor.
If you can't find Kohlrabi, there are several alternatives you can try to replace it in your recipes. Here are some options:
- Jicama: Jicama is a root vegetable, also known as the "Yam bean" or "Mexican turnip." It shares similarities with Kohlrabi, having a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet taste. It can be used in salads or slaws as a Kohlrabi substitute.
- Radishes: They are root vegetables with a peppery flavor and crunchy texture. They come in different colors and shapes and can be used in salads, sandwiches, and tacos instead of Kohlrabi.
- Broccoli Stems: Don't throw away broccoli stems! They are edible and have a crunchy texture similar to Kohlrabi. If you enjoy the taste of broccoli, you can use its stems as a substitute. Peel and slice the broccoli stalks to use in stir-fries, salads, or soups.
- Celery Root: Also known as celeriac, celery root is a variety of celery grown for its root. It closely resembles Kohlrabi in texture, taste, and appearance. Peel and slice celery root to use in soups, stews, or gratins as a Kohlrabi alternative.
- Turnips: Turnips are root veggies with a crunchy texture and slightly bitter taste. Add them to stews, soups, salads, coleslaw, or roasted dishes as a substitute for Kohlrabi.
🙋 People Also Ask [FAQs]
They are edible and contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They also have a mild flavor that pairs nicely with many dishes like stir-fries and soups. Plus, they are incredibly versatile – you can sauté them, steam them or add them raw to your favorite salads.
Kohlrabi is not a root vegetable, but rather a stem vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family. The edible globe of kohlrabi is actually the swollen stem of the plant, which grows above ground. It resembles a root vegetable in appearance and can often be mistaken for one.
Kohlrabi is best harvested when it is small, about the size of a tennis ball, as bigger bulbs become tough, woody, and bitter.
🔑 Key Takeaways: Kohlrabi
- Kohlrabi, despite being called German or cabbage turnip, belongs to the Brassica family, not the turnip family, and is a stem vegetable that grows above ground, available in green or purple varieties.
- Its low glycemic index makes kohlrabi a healthy choice, as it helps control blood sugar levels and offers essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium for strong bones.
- IT has a subtly sweet taste with a hint of peppery spice and a satisfying crunch. You can eat kohlrabi raw or cooked, making it a versatile addition to salads and stir-fries.
- Try the Refreshing Kohlrabi slaw recipe, a delightful side dish with a creamy yogurt dressing, jalapeno kick, and refreshing parsley flavor. Experiment with different herbs and serving suggestions for a delicious and nutritious meal.
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Refreshing Homemade Kohlrabi Slaw
Prepare the Kohlrabi:
- Peel the kohlrabi using a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer.
- Rinse it well and pat it dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Cut the kohlrabi into matchstick-like Julienne strips using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. You can also use a food processor with a julienne blade attachment for quicker results.
Prepare the Dressing:
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, chopped jalapeno, finely chopped parsley, lime juice (or lemon juice), and olive oil.
- Mix the ingredients well until they form a smooth and creamy dressing.
Toss and Mix:
- Add the prepared kohlrabi matchsticks to the dressing in the mixing bowl.
- Gently toss and mix the ingredients until the kohlrabi strips are well coated with the dressing.
- Make sure each strip is evenly coated to enhance the flavors.
Chill and Marinate:
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the kohlrabi slaw for at least 15-30 minutes.
- This allows the flavors to meld together and the kohlrabi to absorb the dressing, resulting in a more delicious slaw.
Serve and Enjoy:
- Once the slaw has chilled and marinated, it's ready to serve.
- Plate the Kohlrabi Slaw in a bowl or on a serving dish. You can garnish it with a sprig of parsley or a few slices of jalapeno for an extra touch.
- Serve the slaw as a refreshing and healthy side dish with your favorite main course.
- Add Carrots: For a colorful twist and extra crunch, consider adding some julienned carrots to the slaw. They complement the kohlrabi beautifully and enhance the visual appeal of the dish.
- Adjust Spice Level: If you prefer a milder slaw, you can reduce the amount of jalapeno or even omit it altogether. On the other hand, if you like more heat, keep the seeds of the jalapeno while chopping.
- Make-Ahead: You can prepare kohlrabi slaw in advance and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. However, it's best to add the dressing just before serving to maintain the crispness of the kohlrabi.
- Experiment with Herbs: While parsley complements the slaw nicely, feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, or dill for different flavor profiles.
- Serving Suggestions: This kohlrabi slaw goes well with grilled meats, sandwiches or even as a topping for tacos and wraps. It adds a delightful, crunchy element to any meal.