How many times have you passed over this extremely versatile, albeit odd-looking, vegetable while strolling through your local farmer’s market or produce department? Sure it looks more like Sputnik than most vegetables - okay it’s the only vegetable that resembles a 1950’s Soviet satellite, but that’s no reason to shun it!
Kohlrabi has a taste similar to broccoli stems, but is much milder and sweeter which is not surprising since they are in the same family. The round bulb-like Kohlrabi is actually the plant stem, not the root, from which the tender green leaves grow.
Kohlrabi comes in a variety of sizes and even colors with the average around the size of a tennis ball. However, for this recipe I seek out younger and smaller specimens that are about the size of golf balls. Unlike more mature examples these will not require peeling, just a good scrubbing.
The garlicky-lemon butter sauce that accompanies this dish adds a tang that really compliments the tender sweetness of the young kohlrabies and the slightly bitter greens that crowned them. (Yep that’s right, the Merriam-Webster dictionary says the plural is the unfortunate “kohlrabies”. Oh well.)
Garlic Lemon Kohlrabi
Yield: 4 Servings Preparation Time: 15 Minutes Cooking Time: 35 Minutes
• 8 to 12 Golf Ball Size Kohlrabi Stems with Greens attached
• 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
• 2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
• 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
• 2 Cloves Garlic, mashed with ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
• Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Step 1. Remove the leaves and their thin woody stems from the kohlrabies and set aside. Wash and trim off the root end and any remaining woody leaf-stem bits. Do not peel.
Step 2. Remove the tough stems from the leaves, as you would for spinach, and discard. Rinse the leaves and dry them by rolling them up in a clean dish towel and set aside.
Step 3. Put the butter and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and set over low heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the parsley and garlic until combined and let the mixture simmer for 1 minute. Cover to keep warm and remove from heat.
Step 4. Place the kohlrabi stems in a steamer and cook for 30 minutes.
Step 5. When the kohlrabi stems have been steaming for 20 minutes set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the butter sauce. Add the reserved kohlrabi leaves, tossing them to coat with the butter and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes then remove from the heat.
Cut the streamed kohlrabi stems into ¼” thick slices and arrange on a serving plate with the greens mounded to the side. Drizzle the slices with the butter sauce then season with a few grinds of black pepper and serve.
Tips and Trending
~ If small kohlrabies are not available go ahead and use the larger variety. Steam for 40 minutes and pierce with a sharp knife to make sure they are tender. Peel the tough skin off of these more mature kohlrabies before slicing and serving.
~ If necessary before serving, keep the kohlrabi slices warm by putting them in the butter sauce set over very low heat. You obviously won’t need to drizzle the sauce over the plated vegetable after they’ve soaked in it!