Kohlrabi

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It’s hard to walk into a restaurant these days, and not find some type of kale on the menu. Over the last few years, it has become one of the trendiest foods on the planet, and one of the best for you.  Chefs are serving it up raw in salads, sauteed as a side dish, shredded in soups, and macerated into juices and smoothies. Sometimes it’s treated better than you are, and massaged to make the sturdy leaves more tender.

Well,move over kale, there’s a new kid in town: kohlrabi.

Food experts are predicting that this ugly root, not commonly found in American cuisine, will be the next big vegetable to hit the food scene.

The bulb, which comes in stylish shades of purple or pale green, sprouts stalks and leaves. Although the entire plant  is edible, it’s the crunchy bulb with a slightly sweet yet tangy flavor similar to a radish, that gets the most attention.

Kin to the more popular broccoli and cauliflower, kohlrabi was just that that perplexing root found in CSA boxes that people were not sure what to do with.

In Asia, it’s often pickled, and in other areas, it is grated into pancakes and fritters. Chefs on this side of the world are experimenting with it, due to it’s unusual flavor, and high nutritional content. At just 36 calories per cup, this  high fiber, potassium and vitamin C rich vegetable is worth looking into.

Peel away both the hard outer skin and the underlying fibrous skin, to reveal the crisp flesh.

Cut it into sticks and bake them into healthy “fries.”

Julienne the bulb, and use it as you would raw cabbage to create “kohl-slaw.”

Puree it as you would mashed potatoes, or slice it and bake it au gratin.

Use it in soups, or fry it into pancakes. The options are vast.

Have you tried kohlrabi yet? Share your recipes in the comments below!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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