Otherwise known as German turnip, kohlrabi is a vegetable that is related to cabbage and turnips. As in case of cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, and broccoli; kohlrabi too is developed from wild cabbage. The name is derived from the German words 'kohl' and 'rabi'. While 'kohl' means cabbage, 'rabi' means turnips. It is often mistaken as a root vegetable, like rutabaga and turnips. In fact, the bulbous kohlrabi is the swollen stem that develops on the surface of the soil. This vegetable is available in different colors, like white, light green, and purple. However, the flesh is white in all varieties. The ball-like kohlrabi has distinct points, where the leaves are attached.
As compared to cabbage and broccoli, kohlrabi has a milder taste, with a tinge of sweetness. This vegetable can be consumed in both raw and cooked form. Even the leaves are edible, and are sometimes used with the bulb. Young and tender ones are usually preferred for consumption, as larger ones are tougher and fibrous. Young kohlrabi are sweet and juicy, and are compared to apples.
Tips for Cooking Kohlrabi
You must buy young and tender kohlrabi, that are fresh and firm. Those with fresh leaves attached to the bulb, are more preferable. Generally, those with more than three inches of diameter are not preferred for cooking. However, there is a Gigante cultivar that grows bigger, but retains the tenderness. Kohlrabi can be boiled, steamed, roasted, cooked in a microwave, or can be eaten raw.
Boiling and Steaming
Remove the stems and roots, and wash the vegetable, before use. If it is young and tender, you may not remove the skin. You may either boil it in whole, or cut it into pieces of desired shape and size, before boiling. If you want to boil it in whole, place it in a pan of boiling water, and simmer for around 20 to 25 minutes. In case of kohlrabi cubes, cooking in boiling water for 15 minutes, will be sufficient. In order to steam the vegetable, cook the kohlrabi pieces in a steamer or colander placed over simmering water, for around 15 minutes. Boiled and steamed versions can be consumed with a small amount of butter, salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.
In order to roast 4 pounds of kohlrabi, wash and peel the skin of the vegetable, after trimming their roots and stems. Cut them into cubes that have to be tossed with a tablespoon each of olive oil and minced garlic, along with required amounts of salt and pepper. Spread the pieces on an oven dish, and place the dish in the oven, which is set at 420°F. It will take around 30 to 35 minutes for the kohlrabi to get roasted. You have to turn the pieces in between, so as to ensure that the pieces are roasted evenly. You may serve the roasted vegetable, after sprinkling a small amount of white vinegar.
How to Cook Kohlrabi in a Microwave
Take a microwave safe dish and place kohlrabi pieces on it. Make sure to add two to three tablespoons of water to the dish. Now, cover and vent the dish, before placing it inside the microwave. You have to cook the vegetable for around five minutes, in the microwave that is set on high. Once done, remove the dish from the microwave, and leave it like that for a few minutes, before opening. You may also cook whole kohlrabi in the microwave. In that case, wash them and remove the stems and roots. Place three to four small kohlrabi on the dish that has to be covered and vent, before cooking in the microwave. In this case too, add two to three tablespoons of water to the dish, and cook for around ten minutes, on high.
So, try these methods for cooking kohlrabi, and enjoy the nutritional benefits of this vegetable.