I picked up some Purple Kohlrabi at the Farmer’s Market, which I had never seen before. The purple skin is such an awesome color; it almost looks fake. The leaves are strong looking and the purple veins running through green leaves seem exotic. If you’re not familiar with Kohlrabi, James Peterson has a hilarious description, “spiky, vienlike stems coming out of it, making it look like some organ on life support.” By the way, that applies to both the regular light green ones and these purple ones. (Sometimes the green ones look rounder.)

purple Kohlrabi 6

Unfortunately, most of this dramatic purple color is lost when you prepare the kohlrabi. The thick stem must be peeled and underneath, it looks the same as standard kohlrabi.

purple Kohlrabi peeled Kohlrabi

When you peel it, you have to get all the woody stuff off. If you can still see the fibrous looking stuff, you need to peel more off.

peeling Kohlrabi

So, when I was cooking with Carol Gelles one day, she pointed out that Kohlrabi tastes like broccoli stems. I have to agree 100%, it absolutely does. Eaten raw, it’s crispy and crunchy. It even smells just like broccoli stems. It’s a pretty strong flavor (especially raw) that some like and some don’t. You can use Kohlrabi and Broccoli Stems as substitutes for each other but kohlrabi is easier to peel in the sense that it yields more because it’s thicker than most broccoli stems.

As for the leaves, remove the stems going all the way up. They are pretty hard. Slice the leaves and cook them similarly to the way you would treat collard greens. They are also pretty tough and take a while to cook, and also work well with bacon.

Kohlrabi leaves with bacon 2

posted by jessica at 08:27 AM Filed under Basics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.