What to Make with Kohlrabi

We’ve got at least nine ideas for what you should do with this brassica that kind of looks like a turnip.

kohlrabi

In general, kohlrabi has a mild flavor that’s similar to a broccoli stem. Photo credit: Flickr/Denish C

Although it might be difficult to put a vegetable with a name when you hear the word “kohlrabi,” there’s a good chance you’ve passed it at the farmers market. It’s a brassica that kind of looks like a turnip and lends itself beautifully to raw salads, purees and other fall dishes.

On top of its edible versatility, kohlrabi is ridiculously easy to grow and can withstand many types of weather and soil. The stem’s edible, too, and if harvested young, can be as juicy as an apple. In general, kohlrabi has a mild flavor that’s similar to a broccoli stem. It can also have a hint of sweetness that is stronger in smaller bulbs.

Desirable traits include a heavy weight (some compare it to a baseball), intact leaves and a vibrant color. In addition to the leaves, all edible parts of kohlrabi are a pale yellow. And speaking of the leaves, don’t remove them as they’ll increase your veg’s shelf life by about a week. Otherwise, be sure to fully peel the kohlrabi when ready to use — the outside won’t cook down like the meaty insides will.

Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Kohlrabi Crostini — Food52
Between the lemon, herbs, mozzarella, toast and kohlrabi, this crostini serves a generous medley of tangy, crunchy and creamy. Any mild cheese (like ricotta) would pair wonderfully.

Celeriac, Kohlrabi and Apple Puree — Epicurious
Celery puree is just fine on its own, but the sharp apple flavor and slight sweetness of the kohlrabi is a nice change. Heat it up, flake some Parmesan on top, add a drizzle of lemon oil and you have yourself a quick soup.

Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts — Bon Appétit
Raw kohlrabi is delicious. Though it may seem efficient to chop it up using a mandolin, this may not be true since the kohlrabi is pretty dense. Try rough chopping with a heavy chef’s knife, or blast in a food processor with a ¼ cup of water (to reduce friction). Walnuts and other fatty nuts would work well in this recipe, too.

Kohlrabi Fritters — A Couple Cooks
Make this batter up to a week in advance and scoop to fry as needed. Want more crunch? Substitute ¼ of the kohlrabi for parsnip. But, whatever you do, do not skimp on the avocado cream — it is delicious!

Butter Braised Kohlrabi — Saveur
Feel free to use vegetable stock with this dish. You can also cook and serve in a cast-iron pan to cut down on dishes, not to mention that it gives an extra crisp crust on the kohlrabi. Brown the butter beforehand for a nuttier flavor.

Kale and Kohlrabi Gnocchi — Food52
This is one of the more labor-intensive recipes on this list, but I’ve never met anyone who regrets making their own gnocchi. The kohlrabi cooks down nicely and acts as a potato substitute. Not ready to give up all starch? Do a 50/50 blend of potato and kohlrabi.

German-style Stuffed Kohlrabi — Epicurious
Also known as a “German turnip,” it is only fitting that the kohlrabi gets a German treatment. Use pearl onions for a sweeter finish, and try a beef and pork mixture.

Green Minestrone with Kohlrabi — Saveur
This recipe not only helps clean out the entire crisper, but the addition of an incorporated pesto really adds vibrancy to this soup. For the bread, if cashew cream isn’t your style, try a little melted cheese — or go crazy and do both.

Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad — Food52
This is tagged as a summer recipe, but use it as a garnish to your favorite warm noodles (I’m all about soba) for a heartier dish. The salad also makes a great marinade for skirt steak and can be a generous side dish.

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Emily is a freelance writer, food stylist and prolific devourer. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, her career has varied from working the line at a two-Michelin restaurant to her most recent work: writing the 2014 SXSW Cookbook. Her passions include iced coffee and quenelles.