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