After our first year of market gardening, we all agree that the most underrated vegetable is kohlrabi. It is delicious and full of flavor, most similar to the taste of broccoli stems (my favorite part anyways). Plus, it takes up hardly any space in the garden (a huge plus for our 1/2 acre farm). It also helps strike up a conversation, as it looks somewhat unusual, if not a bit alien.
We've enjoyed cooking kohlrabi all sorts of ways throughout the gardening season. My favorite was roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper (but, that's true for almost any vegetable). We also sautéed it with leeks or onions and even made a tomato based curry with it one time too.
With the holidays approaching, I thought I would try a different spin on kohlrabi, fancying it up a bit. The idea came from a German customer at one of our markets who explained the basic recipe. I've taken what she described and added measurements. I also threw in some garlic as her description reminded me of the garlic sauce I had in Poland which was a common condiment for potatoes or veggies.
Though bringing kohlrabi to the holiday meal would certainly be a novelty for most and make for a wonderful introduction to a delicious vegetable, this recipe could easily work for broccoli instead. Kohlrabi is hard to find in a typical grocery store, though it is growing in popularity. It would almost certainly be found at a specialty grocery store along the line of Whole Foods.
kohlrabi with garlic sauce
4-6 kohlrabi (roughly 2-3 cups chopped)
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs. flour
Freshly ground pepper
Remove kohlrabi leaves, if present. Trim ends of kohlrabi bulb then thoroughly peel tough outer skin. Chop into bite sized pieces.
Place kohlrabi in small saucepan. Add water and salt. Bring to boil and cook for 3-5 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Drain, reserving the cooking water.
Melt butter in same pan used to boil the kohlrabi. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add cooking water a tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. Add enough water to reach desired consistency. Additional cooking at a simmer will also thicken the sauce.
Season sauce to taste with additional salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over kohlrabi and serve.
My sauce turned out less thick and creamy than I prefer. Next time, I will add less water or cook it down longer.
Broth could also be used instead of the water and salt. I didn't find flavor lacking using just water, though, since it absorbed flavor from the kohlrabi during boiling.
Kohlrabi leaves are edible. You could easily add some chopped stems to the kohlrabi when boiling. Or, finely chop the stems, chiffonade the leaves, and sauté in olive oil/butter, salt, and pepper for an additional side. The leaves cook similar to kale.