Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Care for some kohlrabi?

I know I've eaten kohlrabi in some form earlier in my lifetime, but I remember nothing about it. Every once in a while, I think about it, wonder why I haven't done much it and then move on. But it was a different story last week - I was trolling PCC wearing my find-new-vegetables hat and I sighted bunches of pretty purple kohlrabis sitting around. I grabbed a bunch right away and got all excited about what I could do with it - saute? bake? gratin of some kind? *so* many options!

I love cabbage. I like turnips too. In fact, I love most of those rugged green vegetables - brussel sprouts, collard, cauliflower, broccoli ... pretty likely that I'll like these cabbage cultivar. Whoa! Apparently, kohlrabi actually means cabbage+turnip - clever? (not!) :)

As I was browsing one of my vegetarian cookbooks, I came across a recipe for a traditional caponata - it usually contained eggplants, tomatoes, olives, maybe some wine and some turbinado sugar to cut the tartness of the tomatoes. Well, I kind of started off thinking I would replace the eggplant with kohlrabi, but I ended up going much further - skipping the tomato seemed like a good idea, I ended up using some sumac instead. And things just got cooking from there.

Kohlrabi Caponata (of sorts!)
"Cabbage+turnip" over pasta?!!

Servings: 2

2 kohlrabis - peeled and sliced
1/2 red onion - sliced long

1/2 carrot - diced

10-12 gren olives

10-12 capers
3 cloves garlic - smashed

1/4 cup red wine

1 T turbinado sugar

1 t balsamic vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper
a couple of drops of truffle oil
cooked spaghetti to serve with the caponata

Heat the oil in a wok and saute the onions till they start to brown.

Add the smashed garlic along with the kohlrabi and carrots and simmer covered for about 6-7 minutes.

Toss in the red wine and simmer for another 3-4 minutes till the liquid reduces to 1/4 of the original quantity.

Add the olives, capers, sugar and vinegar and saute a li'l more.

Finally season with the salt and pepper, maybe even some red pepper flakes.

Top the pasta with the caponata or toss them all together, your choice! :)

Any good?
It was fabulous! The earthy and peppery flavours of the kohlrabi blended with the sweet-sour sauce and danced on our palates. *so* good! I can't wait to dig into that kohlrabi again.

Oooo ... new vegetable - this means I need to ship this off to Vani for Weekend Herb Blogging!


bhags said...

Nice one.........i ahve never had any Kohlrabi, am sure of that...Pics look inviting

Taste of Mysore said...

I love this veggetable. The kind we get in India looks very green. Mom used to blend this with some green chilli and Cumin and fry them in a tablespoonfull oil till the moisture is lost in kohlrabi and garnished it with wetcoconut scraping and cilantro. Since we are rice eaters it went perfectly well. Never tried to top it on pasta. Will try it when I see this veggie again.

Mishmash ! said...

should thank you for introducing this to me...have never tried or tasted it...should look for it now on :)

remya said...

this is new to me...sounds gud...nice snaps..

Superchef said...

looks delicious... i have never had kohlrabi in my life...infact its the first time im hearing about this veggie...can u pls send me a mail at manju.mahadevan@gmail.com..have something to share with you..

bee said...

i never cease to be amazed at how innovative you are!

KayKat said...

Yay! I'm the official kohlrabi rep now :)

Aww ... Bee, that's an awesome compliment, you guys seem to be among the most innovative chefs out there!

Happy cook said...

I have never had them. Always thought it was a tasteless veggie don't know why.
But i have changed my mind after seeing what you have don't with it

grihini said...

this is new to me... never heard of this Kohlrabi. But as i read through taste of mysore comments, it made me think that I might know this but with a different name. I need to google it now n see.. :)
thanks for the recipe

SteamyKitchen said...

love the first photo! gorgeous.

Kalyn said...

Very interesting! My parents used to grow kohlrabi in their garden, and we ate it a lot for a snack, just peeled and eaten raw.