Cumin-Spiced Kohlrabi

After you’re done cleaning your plate of last week’s broccoli rabe, it’s time to move on to some even more cool rabe, only this time we’ll be selecting tonight’s super cool “rabi” from a different vegetable family, the Brassica Oleracea family, A.K.A. the cabbage family.  Okay, so a pretty poor joke, but another rabi has just arrived and is ready for picking, and this time it’s Kohlrabi (kohl-RAH-bee ).

Kohlrabi comes in several varieties, sporting either a purple or light green color, which look relatively similar to a turnip, with edible leafy greens growing from its top.  Its bulbs also have a taste that resemble the flavor of mild turnips.  I’ve also heard the taste being compared to that of broccoli stalks, which I can definitely see to be true when eaten raw.  The vegetable, which seems to be rather uncommon in many households, is actually quite versatile and can be prepared either raw or cooked.

In the summer when kohlrabi can be harvested fresh from the garden, I particularly enjoy it raw as a cool and refreshing side dish/snack.  The veggie is best when picked small, but if any medium-sized bulbs sneak in there, just make sure to give them a good peeling before preparing.  As for the larger bulbs, pitch them.  When it comes to kohlrabi, big is not best.  The larger bulbs tend to get woody, and the outer skin becomes tough and inedible.  So if you’re growing them in your garden, keep a close eye on those babies and get them while they’re young.  As for farmer’s markets, don’t let growers end up selling you huge kohlrabi bulbs that they really might know much about.

Cumin-Spiced Kohlrabi

The following recipe combines the naturally refreshing, crisp attributes of raw kohlrabi with a few other savory ingredients to create the perfect light, less-than-5-minutes-to-prepare summer snack.

(serves 2)

-1 Kohlrabi
-Lime, one wedge
-Kosher salt

Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch x 3 inch matchsticks.  Sprinkle with cumin, salt, and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy.

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  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 7:37 am

    I haven’t had kohlrabi in a long time. I’ll have to look for them at the Farmers’ Market! Your dish sounds perfect for the weather right now! 🙂

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Hmm I’ve never had kohlrabi before but I do like broccoli rabe. Might have to pick some up soon.

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    June 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I’ve never tried kohlrabi either, but I hear it’s great. I guess I never noticed it at the grocery store.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I’ve seen it in the market before, but have no idea what it was. I felt reluctant to buy it because I really had no idea what to do with it. With this recipe, I will try this vegetable for the first time. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    June 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    wow, this is great!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    June 15, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Yet another veggie I have never heard of! I can’t believe I have not been to the farmer’s markets this season yet, I need to go so I can check out some new veggies and greens. This sounds tasty! I’m sick of spinach, broccoli, and kale all the time.

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    As I’ve frequented farmer’s markets this summer, I’ve noticed a lot of kohlrabi and market goers commenting, “What do I do with it? What does it taste like?” They all should read this 🙂

  • Reply
    June 15, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Hmm this is an ingredient I’ve never tried. I will have to give it a shot one of these days!

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