I am a sucker for the farmers markets.
I love the colors, smells and sights of fresh herbs, flowers and produce.
Have you ever wandered into the produce booths at the farmers market and seen a vegetable or two (or three) that you did not recognize? I know that I have. Many, in fact, and I consider myself a bit of a foodie and an amateur gardener. And so I am on a mission this year to learn about and to try a few of those unfamiliar foodstuffs.
This past week, as I browsed the Grayslake Farmers Market, I struck up a conversation with the folks at Geneva Lakes Produce as they sliced open a round object with really long leaves that I could not identify. They told me that it was a kohlrabi. This is a vegetable that we have talked about planting in our garden for a few years, but we never pulled the trigger. Mainly because, what is kohlrabi anyway?
They asked me if I would like to try it. And, like a boss, I did.
What does a kohlrabi taste like, you ask? Not at all what I expected. To me, it was very reminiscent of cabbage. And I rather like cabbage, in the right context. So I purchased this crazy looking veggie and took it home.
Kohlrabi is an annual vegetable, and is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
What I have done with kohlrabi:
1. Cut it up as an addition to a salad.
2. Cut it into strips and eaten it raw. It is especially good with hummus. My 3 year old asks for this every day!
3. Roast it in the oven with other veggies such as potatoes, onions or carrots (heavily coated with olive oil and your favorite seasoning)
Other options I have found, but have not tried are:
Shred the kohlrabi (similar to the way you would shred a potato for a potato pancake) and mix with a beaten egg and a handful of flour or breadcrumbs. Heat vegetable oil in a pan or skillet and drop the mixture into the hot oil in small clumps, and lightly flatten. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and brown. Serve with a dipping sauce or sour cream.
Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw
Peel and shred one kohlrabi and six carrots. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together three tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of mustard. Salt to taste and and toss with kohlrabi and carrot mixture until well blended.
Now, that wasn’t so scary, was it?
I even bought another one this week.
What is the most exotic vegetable you have purchased–and tried–at your local farmers market?
Editors note: If you see something you want us to try, snap a picture and tag it #eatlocalLLC and post it on our Facebook Page. Our culinary adventurers will try it out and report back to you!