We are approaching the time of the summer when veggies are not only in abundance, they are great in size.
Everyone knows what to do with a tomato or cucumber, but if you are among the more adventurous sort and want to expand your vege-toire, you may visit your local farmers’ market, belong to a CSA, or just spend a little extra time in the produce department looking for new flora to try. I have already posted a recipe this summer to use kohlrabi and I have another to post today, but as I sat down to write, I had to ask myself…do we really KNOW our veggies? What, if anything do we know about them? We tend to know generally about what’s good and what’s not as good, but really…. we don’t know the deets about the veg in our lives.
This past week’s CSA had a crazy amount of kohlrabi for us. Crazy. Tops as well. The tops are edible, so I had to come up with a plan for those…but the trick is the bulbs. If you have never had kohlrabi before, it has a crunch like a firm apple and tastes faintly like cabbage or the stalks of broccoli. According to Vegetarians in Paradise, the following is also true about our leafy, bulbous friend:
- It is very low-calorie; only 19 calories for a half cup of raw, sliced goodness!
- K-rab is also high in fiber–2.5 grams for that 19 calorie half-cup.
- Runners take note: this green is very high in potassium as well.
- Kohlrabi in a half-cup portion is also notable for its vitamin A (25 I.U), vitamin C (43.4), folic acide (11.3 mg) and calcium (16.8 mg) content.
Okay…so it’s good for us, but what is it good for? This is a surprisingly user-friendly plant. It can be diced and used in soups, or shredded and tossed into salads. Its mild flavor and porous flesh makes it a great complement to its host dish and it takes on the flavors of whatever it happens to be sharing the bowl with. Because it’s a study veggie, it can be brushed with olive oil, seasoned and grilled. It can be baked in the same way, steamed or sauteed. Toss it in a stir fry, or veggie tart.
I like its subtle flavor, so when I received the three GIANT kohlrabi bulbs from the CSA this past week, I peeled them right away and put them through the food processor for a good shredding. If they are prepped and ready to go, I can grab a handful here and there for a salad or something and it is much easier than having to cut and peel as I go.
That said, I had a great moment of inspiration when I was preparing a meal this past week. I was thinking about making sweet potato fries at some point and I remembered eating a restaurant in Madison, WI a few years back and enjoying a jalepeno coleslaw. I instantly had a craving for something slightly spicy, creamy and crunchy. I got to work on what turned out to be a very satisfying complement to any summer meal…
What You’ll need:
3 Cups Shredded Kohlrabi
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Onion
3 Tbs Veganaise
2 Tbs Vinegar (rice, apple cider, white would all be good. It’s your call)
1 Tbs Chopped Jalepeno Peppers
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Paprika
Sea Salt to taste
What you’ll do:
Place all chopped veggies into a mixing bowl and combine all other ingredients in a smaller bowl. Blend veganaise, jalepenos, vinegar, oil and spices thoroughly with hand blender, mixer or food processor so the mixture is thick, creamy and completely blended.
Fold dressing into the veggies and mix until the veggies are coated. Serve immediately or store covered in the fridge until ready to serve. This will keep for about two days if it’s regularly stirred while stored.
This is great with a veggie burger and sweet potato fries!