Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kohlra-what? Try it, it's good!

Though relatively undiscovered in this country, kohlrabi has been hugely popular in Europe and Asia for centuries. It has a delicate, mildly sweet flavor and a crunchy texture reminiscent of a cabbage core or broccoli stalks. Kohlrabi is frequently mistaken for a root vegetable - the bulbous "root" is actually a swollen stem.

Kohlrabi is a great source of vitamin C, B6, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese and fiber. It is highly alkaline and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds. Currently, it is enjoying a reputation as a healer of colon and rectal cancer.

Choose the smaller bulbs and peel the kolrhabi before you cook it. It does not store well, so use it as soon as you can. You can eat it raw in salads, or sliced and with a bit of sea salt. If you give it to the kids, cut it as you would French fries, steam it for a few minutes with salt, and serve with a drizzle of honey and a pat of butter. If the leaves are fresh, they can be steamed and eaten like any dark greens. They are great tossed with sauteed garlic and olive oil. Really, you can do anything you can think of with kohlrabi, so experiment.

Here are a few links to recipes to get you going:

Kohlrabi Slivers and Pea Shoots with Sesame Dressing

Kohlrabi Puree

German-Style Stuffed Kohlrabi

For more information and a selection of recipes take a look at this flier.

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