Discovering Kohlrabi

DSC_0008Killiam and Bassette Farmstead‘s stand at the Farmers’ Market of Plainville had kohlrabi (which I have seen and heard of but never prepared) so I decided that its about time I try it. The young ladies at the stand were very helpful and of course The Joy of Cooking (a wedding gift from my sister in law that I have used for over 25 years for the basics and not so basic) is a great resource as well as the internet.

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Fried kohlrabi served with homemade smokey red lentil dip (can also be used as a vegan pate), raw kohlrabi sticks served with homemade cilantro and garlic scape yogurt dip and a raw fresh salad made with the kohlrabi leaves.

To prepare the kohlrabi– remove and set aside the leaves to make a salad. Peel the kohlrabi with a potato peeler and cut it in half. It smells faintly of broccoli which makes sense since they are both cruciferous vegetables (as are kale and cabbage so all healthy food choices). I thought the “ball” was the root but it is actually a thick stem that the leaves grow from.DSC_0012 DSC_0014

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Carrot Salad with Kohlrabi Leaves

Rinse and cut the leaves into thin strips. Massaged the leaves and place in a bowl, add 1 shredded carrot, sprinkle with 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, dash ground white pepper, 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, toss and chill till serving.

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 Fried Kohlrabi with Homemade Smokey Red Lentil Dip/Vegan Pate

3/4 cup split red lentils; rinsed and drained
2 cups water
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (or 1/2 onion); minced
1 celery stick; minced
1 carrot; minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Bring lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are tender and most of the water is absorbed. Check so it does not burn, add 1 Tablespoon of water at a time as needed during cooking time if water absorbs too quickly.
In the meantime, sauté vegetables and salt in extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized frying pan with a lid. Start with the olive oil and onions at medium heat, add the celery, carrots and salt, stir, reduce heat to low and cover cooking for 20 minutes.
Add the sautéed vegetables, paprika, cayenne and black pepper to the lentils and blend until smooth. I used a hand held (stainless steel) blender but a food processor or counter top blender will work just fine.
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Chill until ready to serve (can be made the morning of or the day before). Serve with kohlrabi sticks, other vegetables for dipping and crackers/bread/gluten free version etc.

To prepare fried kohlrabi– peel and cut kohlrabi into half-moons about 1/8″ thick. Heat a heavy bottomed (I use cast iron) skillet over medium high heat and coat the pan with butter/olive oil/canola oil. Add prepared kohlrabi and cook till golden. Flip and cook till golden on second side. Remove from pan, place on a plate/platter and continue until all pieces are fried.

DSC_0022Raw Kohlrabi with Cilantro and Garlic Scape Yogurt Dip

Peel and cut kohlrabi into (1/8″x1/2″) sticks for dipping.

1/2 cup cilantro; minced
1 garlic scape; minced (see below for the easiest way to do this)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
pinch ground cumin
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt*
1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade recipe)

Mix all ingredients together and chill until serving. This can be made the morning of or the day before.
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Cut the scape(s) into roughly 4 inch sections so it is easier to cut them into quarters (in half then half again) lengthwise. Line them up as closely as possible then starting at one end finely cut off sections.

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