Until last year I had no idea what Kohlrabi was. We were at our local Farmers Market one morning and a farmer had a new vegetable out for everyone to try. The light taste, similar to a broccoli stem but sweeter, had us hooked. We bought our first kohlrabi there and ate it raw at home. Once home though we couldn’t remember what this new-to-us vegetable was called. Our next visit to the Farmers Market we made sure to ask the sweet couple that introduced us to Kohlrabi and I decided I needed to plant some in my garden.
Kohlrabi is a vegetable bred from the cabbage family. It can be eaten raw or cooked and the leaves are also edible. Being new to this plant I had to do a little research on how to grow and harvest it when the time came.
Harvesting kohlrabi is very straight forward. Once the kohlrabi is the desired size you simple pull it up out of the ground. The bulbs of the plant grow just above the soil line making it easy to see when the plant is ready. It is best to harvest the kohlrabi when the bulb is a diameter of 2-4 inches. The larger you let the bulb grow it becomes more woody in taste. If you’d like to harvest the leaves before the bulb is ready you can do that at any time. Kohlrabi leaves are a good substitute for collards or kale and should be cooked the same way.
Puple Vienna, Early White Vienna, and Sweet Vienna are all great choices for your home garden. Seed to maturity about 45-60 days.
[my early white vienna kohlrabi in he garden after about 30 days]
Here are 5 ways you can prepare your kohlrabi harvest:
- Sliced thin and eaten raw. When raw, kohlrabi is slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, like radishes. You can toss them in a salad or eat them on their own with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
- Made into fritters. Shred the vegetable and mix with an egg and a few tablespoons of flour. Heat oil or butter in a flat skillet, drop on small mounds, and flatten slightly with the back of your spatula. Turn after a few minutes, and serve when both sides are crispy.
- In soup. You may like kohlrabi in a creamy, pureed soup with mild spices so that sweet kohlrabi flavor can really shine through. Also, try adding it to recipes for Cream of Potato, Cream of Broccoli, and even Cream of Mushroom soup!
- Roasted. When roasted in theoven, the outside of the kohlrabi caramelizes, and the flavor sweetens and mellows. You can slice the kohlrabi thin for toasted “chips” or cube it. It is also good tossed with other roasted veggies like eggplant and potatoes for a hearty side dish.
- Steamed. Kohrabi can be used in literally anything once steamed. You can throw steamed kohlrabi into frittatas, stir-fries, and pasta dishes.