When growing and preparing kohlrabi, most recipes focus on the thickened shoot axis, which grows above ground. Light green varieties usually taste mild and slightly sweet, while specimens with blue or purple skins often develop a stronger cabbage flavor. The characteristic cabbage flavor is provided by valuable mustard oils, which are produced from the mustard oil glycosides contained in the cabbage. In addition, the low-calorie kohlrabi also provides vitamins, minerals, vegetable proteins and fiber. The small representative of the cabbage family is therefore delicious and healthy at the same time. What’s more, kohlrabi is varied, quick and easy to prepare. Here are some tips on how to prepare kohlrabi.
Preparing kohlrabi: An overview of the possibilities
Kohlrabi is low in calories and healthy, versatile and a delight raw, steamed or cooked. Like other cabbages, kohlrabi becomes more digestible when heated. The cooking time determines how soft the vegetable becomes and can vary as desired. The younger the tubers, the more tender and aromatic they are. Although the skin is edible, it becomes firmer and tougher as it grows. It is therefore advisable to peel larger specimens and remove woody parts before eating or preparing them.
How to prepare kohlrabi?
The cabbage vegetable is versatile in the kitchen and tastes delicious both raw and cooked. Accordingly, there are many recipes with kohlrabi. Grated in a salad or cut into sticks, cubes or slices as a raw vegetable and served with hearty dips, it becomes a light, healthy snack in no time at all. In hot cuisine, the tubers benefit from their mild flavor, which goes well with countless dishes. In addition to cream of kohlrabi soup, kohlrabi vegetables in particular are a popular classic. To make it, cut the peeled tubers into small pieces, sauté them in butter until al dente or boil them in salted water until buttery soft. Then add them to a roux cream sauce refined with nutmeg. Boiled potatoes go particularly well with this. If you slice the tubers, cook them briefly and bread them, you get delicious vegetarian cutlets. Also prepared as a casserole or stuffed with minced meat and baked in the oven, the vegetable is a delight.
How long do you have to cook kohlrabi?
Since kohlrabi can also be eaten raw, the cooking time is primarily a matter of taste. If you cook the vegetable in salted water for about ten minutes, cut into evenly sized pieces, it will retain a pleasant bite. The longer you cook kohlrabi, the softer and butterier it becomes. Compared to other types of cabbage, kohlrabi is considered much more digestible, especially when cooked.
Do you need to peel kohlrabi before cooking?
Young, freshly harvested tubers do not necessarily need to be peeled before eating, as the skin is usually quite tender. However, with increasing size, as well as after longer storage, it becomes much harder. It is then better to remove it with a peeler before preparation.
Are the leaves of kohlrabi edible?
The leaves of kohlrabi are edible. Especially the heart leaves delight with a delicate cabbage flavor. They also have a higher content of vitamin C and many times more calcium, carotenoids and iron than the tubers. Before use, kohlrabi leaves should be cleaned out and washed thoroughly. They are delicious uncooked in sauces, in salads or as a crunchy topping for bowls and soups. But the leaves can also be used to conjure up delicious hot dishes. For example, they can be sautéed like spinach or prepared as hearty stuffed roulades.
When and how to harvest kohlrabi?
Compared to the other members of the cabbage family, kohlrabi is fast-growing and ripens relatively quickly under good conditions. A distinction is made between early, summer and fall varieties. Depending on the variety and cultivation period, the tubers are ready for harvesting about two to four months after planting, when they have reached a diameter of about 10 centimeters / 4 inches.
At the respective harvest time, it is advisable to keep an eye on the small cabbage vegetable and check it daily if possible. In this way, you will not miss the right time for harvesting. Young kohlrabi is particularly tender as well as tasty. As it ages, it loses flavor, and the tubers also gradually become tough, fibrous and woody. In addition, if the temperature fluctuates greatly and the water supply is irregular, the skin and tuber may crack and develop deep cracks. To harvest kohlrabi, cut it above the root stalk and remove the outer leaves. The heart leaves, on the other hand, you should taste.
What to look for when buying kohlrabi?
When buying, you should go for well-formed, undamaged and not too large tubers. These should have a shiny, crisp skin without cracks or brown spot. As a rule, kohlrabi is offered at the market or in the store along with the leafy greens. This is the best way to tell if the vegetable is fresh or has been on display for a while. Because the leaves draw moisture from the tuber, it is advisable to remove them as soon as possible after purchase, especially if the vegetable will be stored for a few more days before it ends up on the plate.
How to store kohlrabi?
Cut kohlrabi should be eaten as soon as possible, as it quickly loses moisture and becomes hard. Whole tubers will keep in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for about one to two weeks if you wrap them in a damp cloth. The longer you store kohlrabi, however, the firmer and woodier the tubers become. For stock and quick cooking, you can easily freeze kohlrabi. To do this, remove the leaves, stalk and peel and cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces before placing them raw or blanched in freezer bags and placing them in the freezer.