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Friday, November 11, 2011

Your Seasonal Produce Guide: Kohlrabi

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 8:30 AM

LAWRENCE FARMERS' MARKET/FLICKR
  • Lawrence Farmers' Market/Flickr

A weekly series on what to do with your farmers' market impulse buys and CSA box surprises.

At first glance kohlrabi look like a root vegetable, but in actuality they grow above the ground and belong to the brassica family along with cabbage, Brussels sprouts and kale. Their distinctive appearance resembles a swollen turnip with wildly growing shoots and leaves. Different varieties produce purple, white or green skin, but the flesh is always light in color. The taste is reminiscent of a broccoli stem combined with the sweetness of an apple and crunchy texture of a jicama. They are grown locally during fall, winter and spring seasons.

How do I buy them? Smaller kohlrabi tend to be sweeter in flavor. When possible buy them with the leaves, which are edible. Often the bulbs are sold without their leaves. If they are still in tact, look for greens that are not wilted.

How do I eat them? Kohlrabi can be peeled, sliced and eaten raw, grated into a salad or slaw, steamed or sauteed. The skin is edible when cooked, but some people prefer to peel it first. To prepare a simple side dish: remove any leaves and shoots, slice the bulbs crosswise into half inch pieces, saute in butter or oil over medium heat for eight to ten minutes and season with salt and pepper. The leaves can be sauteed separately for one to two minutes. Serve with oven-roasted salmon and wild rice.

Marla Simon is a San Francisco-based chef, food stylist, and food writer.

Follow her on twitter at @Marla_Simon

Follow us at: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.

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Marla Simon

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