Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shredded Kohlrabi with Butter and Parmesan

My travels through the world of vegetables has brought me to a weird looking little vegetable that looks like a root vegetable, but really is a swelling of a stem of a member of the cabbage family. It's the kohlrabi. Translated literally from German, "kohl" means cabbage and "rabi" means turnip. Pretty interesting eh?

Well it gets even more interesting. Apparently, this is a brand new vegetable in the grand scheme of things. It only showed up about 500 years ago. It only arrived in the United States around 1800. It apparently developed from wild cabbages.

I personally really like the shape. It's like a round ball of a stem with leaf branches coming off the sides and then growing upwards. It's hard to imagine. And I'm a huge dork that I was so excited about eating it that I forgot to take a picture. D'Oh! But here's what they look like. Pretty cool.

And yes, I'm eating them out of season. They are usually harvested between spring and summer and I've jumped the gun a bit. Also, look for smaller kohlrabi when buying them. The big ones tend to be woody.

In surveying a group of "adults", I seem to be the odd person out that I've never had them before tonight. Even the checkout lady at Meijers was telling me that her husband loves them and they are super easy to grow. One of the other ladies that works for the Brain likes them, but she and her daughter have always had them raw. (I sampled raw. It's pretty tasty.) My mom says that she's never had it cooked either. They all told me it tastes like cabbage. It tasted like cabbage. Not that horrible in your face taste of cabbage that nobody really enjoys. Just a lovely hint of cabbage.

I had a hard time waiting for the rest of dinner to be done. And be proud of me. I shared with the Brain.

Shredded Kohlrabi with Butter and Parmesan
from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop (Man I love this book!)

3 medium kohlrabi bulbs without stalks and leaves
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves

Peel the kohlrabi with a paring knife, removing the green skin and outer 1/8 inch or so of the flesh. Cut the bulbs so they will fit in the feed tube of the food processor. Shred using the coarse shredding blade.

Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the shredded kohlrabi and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and cook just until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.


Cynthia said...

This is the first time I have seen or heard of this veggie. Are the leaves edible too?

Bellini Valli said...

I have seen this veggie at the stores once in a while. Thanks for the inspiration!

Pixie said...

This is a new vegetable for me, have never heard of it myself. If I ever come by it, I will give it a try.

Pixie said...

Hi Mary, back again, to let you know you've been tagged!

Hope you don't mind!

glamah16 said...

I had them sliced raw fresh from my 'in laws' garden in Germany last summer. Was good crisp and if I recall a little peppery.Just what I needed afetr a week of meat and starch German Style.