Saturday, June 15, 2013

no longer a kohlrabi virgin :: kohlrabi tops and bulbs with mushrooms and lentils

Kohlrabi Tops and Bulbs with Mushrooms and Lentils
How did I make it to 48 years without ever having tasted a kohlrabi? That's one thing I especially love about having a CSA share – it pushes the boundaries of my culinary repertoire and palate. I was surprised to discover that kohlrabi is pleasant both raw and cooked. Raw, its texture is similar to that of a jicama or turnip. It's slightly spicy, just like my beloved radishes – swoons – so for me, it was love at first bite. When cooked, the bulb's texture reminds me of seafood, so I'd imagine it would make a great addition to vegan bouillabaisses and cioppinos. The heat basically annihilates the kohlrabi bulb's kick and transforms it into a mellow, slightly porous receptacle for tasty sauces. The greens taste like a cross between kale and strong cabbage.

I can't stop singing "Kohlrabi," sung to the tune of "Volare"  
My kohlrabi arrived with the tops intact. Forever in my frugal urban pioneer mode, I was determined to use the whole plant. That's how I came up with this simple, pantry-friendly recipe. I used lentils as a protein, because when paired with mushrooms, they somehow infuse recipes with magical, earthy undertones – which I further teased out with a few teaspoons of smoked Spanish paprika. You can use any bean you have on hand, though, even edamame. I enjoyed this as a main, but it would also make a fun dragon bowl topper, over any grain or even pasta.

This week's organic CSA share [Clockwise starting at noon]: Lettuce, scallions, cauliflower, foot-long beans, sugar snap peas, spring mix, garlic scapes, kohlrabi, and kale.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway contest for gluten-free vegan meal starters. I am headed off on vacation, so I'll announce the winner when I return. See you back here June 25th!

kohlrabi tops and bulbs with mushrooms and lentils

  • 1 bunch of kohlrabi bulbs and greens
  • 1 T plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms [I used Baby 'Bellas]
  • 1 1/2  cups cooked lentils, or 1 15 oz. can of your favorite beans, drained and rinsed
  • About 5 scallions greens and whites, sliced 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Serves 4

Peel kohlrabi bulbs. Cut into 1/8-inch slices, then julienne. Trim tops and chiffonade.Set aside.

Heat oil over medium in a Dutch oven. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Stir in Spanish paprika to color the oil and cook for about 4 more minutes or until garlic is soft.

Add mushrooms and kohlrabi bulbs.Stir, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Check moisture level from time to time: you may need to add salt and/or water or broth [1 T at a time] if mixture gets dry.

Add greens and scallions. Cook covered until soft, about 15-20 minutes more, again checking moisture level and adding broth or water if it gets too dry. Stir in lentils for the last 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or room temperature.

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Joey said...

I've only tried cooking with kohlrabi once and it wasn't a success! Maybe it's time to get back on that horse again - I really like the idea of using the greens too.

Glue and Glitter said...

Ooh yum! Our CSA sends kohlrabi pretty regularly, and mostly I just roast the bulbs and saute the tops. Your recipe looks like a lot more fun!

Andrea said...

I don't think I've ever cooked kohlrabi greens — or even kohlrabi. I've had it raw in salad. Your dish looks so yummy I may have to get some kohlrabi and make up for lost time. I'll show your recipe to my husband — he LOVES kohlrabi!

patti said...

i am so looking forward to trying your recipe...not only have i never cooked kohlrabi i've never eaten it! thanks!

patti said...

update i did make the above recipe and it was a big hit! will definitely make it again...thanks!

urban vegan said...

So glad to heat this. Fear no kohlrabi!

Kristen said...

I never see kohlrabi around here with the greens. The ones I have are green-less. I am thinking I will sub in spinach or Swiss chard. Which do you think will go better in this dish? I don't know which will be closer to the kohlrabi greens.

patricia in ct said...

Kristen - I would sub in something like a red russian Kale or maybe even collard greens. Both would pair well with the smoked paprika too!