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Seasonal Eats: Say Yes to Kohlrabi

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Kohlrabi (Heather Parlato/LAist)
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Kohlrabi is that really sculptural curiosity we’ve all seen, but haven’t all taken home to try [every blog post on it starts out with regret, trust me]. It’s a member of the brassica family, which makes it a cousin to cabbage, broccoli, and kale, all grandchildren of wild cabbage. Though it’s got a light, apple-broccoli flavor all it’s own when raw, it resembles more of a delicate broccoli stem when cooked. Kohlrabi is often included in “root vegetable” mixes, but the bulb you’re looking at is actually the stem, making the individual pieces above the stalks which hold the leaves.

I’ll admit, for many years I only looked at kohlrabi, and put off trying it out. I throw my regret hat into the ring with everyone else now though, because it’s a really versatile vegetable that can be shredded into light salads or made into many tasty, hearty dishes, but only has a glycemic load of 3. Kohlrabi is also a good source of Thiamin, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorous, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

I wanted to point out, though none of the recipes I’ve listed here talk about using the stalks and leaves, they are edible. I experimented with a mixed vegetable stir fry, cutting the stalks into 1” pieces. They remained crunchy and added a broccoli-like flavor to the mix. I haven’t cooked up the leaves yet, but I’m sure there are plenty of leafy-green uses for them, so go ahead and reserve them for a quick lunch when peeling the main stem for these other suggestions.