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purple kohlrabi from the Ferry Plaza farmers market in San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 24, 2011

Six Ways to Use Kohlrabi

The kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family, with a name that is a combination of the german words for cabbage and turnip. Like cabbage, kholrabi can be purple or green, and the purple varieties are somewhat stronger tasting. The texture and taste is similar to that of a broccoli stem, and can be eaten in a similarly wide range of ways: raw, steamed, baked, roasted or pureed. The stems and leaves can be used in any recipe calling for greens.

Small kohlrabi usually don’t need to peeled, but for those that are tennis ball-sized or larger, the tough skin will need to be peel off with a knife.

Trivia buffs may be interested in knowing that kohlrabi is one of the most common vegetables eaten in Kashmir, hence the addition to this list of one recipe from that part of the world.

Pureed Kholrabi
Sauted Kohlrabi
Roasted Kholrabi with Parmesan
Roasted Kohlrabi with Sesame, Poppy and Fennel Seeds
Kashmiri Curried Kholrabi
Quickly Pickled Kohlrabi Chips

Pureed Kholrabi

4 kohlrabi bulbs with leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cream (or milk, chicken stock or water)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Trim the kohlrabi bulbs, peel off any tough skin and cut each bulb into several pieces. Rinse and coarsely chop the leaves.

2. Bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, and add the kohlrabi. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the kohlrabi leaves to the skillet, cover, and cook 5 minutes. Then uncover, and cook, stirring, for several more minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Set the skillet aside.

5. Drain the kohlrabi chunks and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Add the onion mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Purée until smooth.

6. Transfer the purée to a saucepan and reheat over low heat, stirring, 2 minutes.

Sauted Kohlrabi

2 large or 4 small kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed of leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil leaves or
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves

1. Grate the kohlrabi and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit 30 minutes. Squeeze water out.

2. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet. Brown onions and stir in kohlrabi. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and turn up the heat to medium. Cook another 2 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

green kohlrabi from the Flagstaff, Arizona, farmers market, June 17, 2007






Roasted Kholrabi with Parmesan

4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Cut the kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices and cut the larger slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, turning them over when they are about half cooked and stirring occasionally to brown the slices evenly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the Parmesan cheese to brown, about 5 minutes.

Roasted Kohlrabi with 
, Poppy and Fennel Seeds

3 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the kohlrabi, olive oil, seeds and salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Spread the mixture in a single layer in a baking pan.

2. Shake pan occasionally while roasting until the kohlrabi is browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and adjust seasonings to taste.

Source: Adapted from Perfect Vegetables, by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

Kashmiri Curried Kholrabi
(Ganth Gobhi)

1 teaspoon garam masala
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground fenugreek seeds
4 whole cloves
4 to 6 small kohlrabi with greens (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces, and the leaves finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 to 3 fresh green chili peppers, such as serrano, minced with seeds
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, including soft stems
½ cup water, or as needed
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick wok or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garam masala, cumin and fenugreek seeds, and cloves. Sizzle the spices in the oil for a few seconds and then stir in the kohlrabi pieces and leaves and cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. Mix in all the remaining ingredients (except the water and black pepper) and continue to cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add the water, cover the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for 20 to 25 minutes, until the kohlrabi is tender and most of the water has evaporated. Sprinkle with black pepper before serving.

Source: Adapted from 1,000 Indian Recipes, By Neelam Batra.

Quickly Pickled Kohlrabi Chips

4 medium kohlrabi, trimmed
3 small onions
1/4 cup pickling salt
2 cups vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon tumeric

1. Peel and thinly slice kohlrabi and onions. Mix salt with 1 quart ice water, pour over the vegetables, and soak for 3 hours. Drain, rinse, and place in a bowl.

2. Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, cook for 3 minutes, and pour over the vegetables. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 3 days.

Source: Adapted from the Victory Garden Cookbook

Copyright 2012 Seasonal Chef