Something to do with Kohlrabi

August 4, 2006

Keepp's photo of kohlrabi
Keepp‘s photo of kohlrabi I’ve nicked off flickr

Got to admit, I’ve got issues with Kohlrabi. Firstly, isn’t it just a turnip with tentacles? Secondly, how do you pronounce it? Should it sound like a chilly Jewish spritual leader? Or should it be pronounced with drawn-out Kensington vowels, daahling? Thirdly, is it two words or one, or is it hyphenated? Fourthly, I haven’t got the foggiest what to do with it.

A week or two ago Tophat left this stark confession in the comments…

“I could eat thin slices of kohl rabi sandwiched between two slices of good bread and butter any day of the week.”

To which Tozagurl replied, with the voice of sanity…

“I don’t think I’ll be bringing kohlrabi sandwiches to work anytime soon – i got enough stick for the broad bean salad”

Here’s another possibility, less likely to result in a terminal loss of office kudos. I tried it a while back and, all I can say is, it’s quite nice. It’s from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Cooking

Something to do with Kohlrabi

1. Peel 1lb of kohlrabi and slice thinly.

2. Heat 1oz of butter and 2 tblsp of oil in a pan, stir in a tablespoon or so of sugar. Keep stirring, over a high heat, until it starts to caramelise and turns golden-brown.

3. When it’s brown, add the kohlrabi, stir around a bit then lower the heat. Cover and leave it until the veg is cooked and the liquid evaporated.

4. Add 1 tsp of flour and then enough stock or water to make a binding sauce. Bring to the simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.

5. Season and stir in a generous amount of parsley.

Anyone else got any bright ideas for what to do with this most alien of veg box inhabitants?

14 Responses to “Something to do with Kohlrabi”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Its not bad roasted with garlic and thyme and black pepper and eaten as a side sort of dish.

    Boring, but its quite nice.

  2. gastropunk Says:

    Kevin, I reckon ‘quite nice’ is about as good as you’re going to get with this vegetable. But cheers for the suggestion – sounds good as a side dish for roast lamb.

  3. newforestgrrrl Says:

    Kohlrabi – one of our best veg box discoveries so far, in my book. Best kept simple – peel, cut into julienne strips, fry in butter until golden brown. Yum.

  4. gastropunk Says:

    Newforestgrrrl, well… I’ll take your word for it and give it a go – maybe I’ve been trying to over-complicate matters. i’ve only had two so far this summer, maybe i’ll get another pop at them soon…

  5. crzy_rgntnn Says:

    Somehow you “sound” more grown up on this post…

  6. gastropunk Says:

    what, you mean like a year or older or something?? p.s. i love the drawing! it’s got to be posted…

  7. jenny Says:

    My favorite recipe – grate kohlrabi, carrot and beetroot into large pretty bowl, add dried cranberries/raisins, sesame/pumpkin/sunflower seeds. Add dressing of lemon juice, sunflower oil, honey. Sprinkle with chopped coriander. Enjoy!!

  8. gastropunk Says:

    jenny, I like the sound of this. A very visual salad – I can picture the orange, red and white of the grated veggies looking great together. i’ll give this a go if this combination every turns up in my box.

  9. tozagurl Says:

    I must confess I was inadvertently converted to kohlrabi (raw and on its own) last night and I hereby resign as the voice of sanity!

    I figured I could at least use it to bulk out a curry rather than waste it and that its lack of charm would be obscured beneath the raft of more pungent flavours. However, I found myself munching slices of it raw and me and Weird-Veg-Sceptic husband found it is really quite nice. We are now hoping we get more some time but I fear it may be out of season now.

    We have embryonic plans for kohlrabi remoulade (think this might work in a sandwich but still not persuaded that it will be good on its own!) and adding it to coleslaw in the wake of a white cabbage shortage. The salad Jenny suggests sounds like a much more colourful and adventurous approach to the same idea and WVS husband and carrot-obsessed boy will be subjected to it this weekend (as long as my beetroot are stil okay).

    I think we were daunted by its bastard-child-of-turnip-and-cabbage characteristics and now feel duly chastened.

    Next stop – adventures with turnips!
    Any suggestions?

  10. gastropunk Says:


    It sounds like you’ve had a road to Damascus experience with the kohlrabi. I’m still waiting to see the light…

    Do you have a recipe for remoulade you’d like to post up here? I’m not 100% sure what it is – I made a remoulade sauce years ago from a Liz David book and I vaguely remember it being a mayonnaise-type sauce with tarragon, capers(?) and other herbs. How do you make yours?

  11. chrispy Says:

    I know that when I recieved Kohlrabi in my veggie box that I was none to thrilled with the taste the first try and kept passing them off to my german friends. I have now learned that what came in my box was too large and thus less flavorfull. The small less than 2 inches across the veggie is a good start to try agian. They are pleasently sweet like a cucumber with sugar.

  12. Ozgardenerpam Says:

    I’ve just grown some Kohlrabi for the first time and they are just getting to be big enough to use. Wasn’t sure what to do with it but will try some of the ideas – especially the colourful salad when we have vegans who are coming for lunch soon. However, does anyone know what to do with the tops? I presume they are edible? I realise if you buy the veg the tops might not look too appetising but fresh they look good.

  13. pravasidesi Says:

    You can do so much with kohlrabi – it’s one of my favorite vegetables. It has a lovely light flavor.

  14. mary lumsden Says:

    slice kohlrabbi into strips like french fries cook in water keep the water as stock add some salt .. add flower to thicken makes a great sauce with the rabbi. old german recepie i just wish i knew where i could get some kohlrabbi since i came to the states i have yet to find any .

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