You’ve probably seen kohlrabi, sometimes known as the German turnip or even the cabbage turnip, knocking around the farmers’ market for a while now. It’s a storage crop, a mild brassica, harvested in fall and set aside for just such a day as this, when we’re looking for a bit of crunch and freshness to liven up the almost-spring days.
“The ones we’ve got are pretty sweet now,” says Joshua Passe, stalwart of the Wednesday Greenmarket, handing out kohlrabi slices to passersby. “You can cook them, or eat them raw. They’ve got a real snap to them.”
They look like little pale green bowling balls or turnips, but when it comes to flavor, kohlrabi tastes much more like mild broccoli stems. It doesn’t look fresh and juicy upon first glance, but it can be as crisp as any apple, making it an ideal addition to slaws and salads.
So what are you looking for when you’re buying? “You want a smooth surface, with no cracks,” says Passe. “They should be firm, and hard to the touch.” Peel off the outer layer of skin with a vegetable peeler, and you’re ready to go.
Sample this vegetable over at Reynard (80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-460-8004), which is currently matching kohlrabi to cured egg yolk, remoulade, and brown butter.
Some eating ideas: