In the Crisper
Featured Veg: Kohlrabi.
Eat: Stem and leaves, raw or cooked. Leaves are typically cooked but can be sliced thin and dressed raw.
Prepare Stem: Wash well, trim ends, and peel thickly with a paring knife.
Prepare Leaves: Wash in several changes of water. Roughly chop or slice crosswise.
Substitute: For stem: turnip or rutabaga (cooked), celery root (raw). For leaves: kale, collards.
Hiya, it's Kohlrabi. From the garden, yeah. Look, I don't mean to be that guy or anything, but there's something that's been bumming me out for kind of a while, and I just feel like I need to put it out there. Holding in the bad stuff can really wilt your greens, you know? It's not lost on me that we've only known each other for--what--a couple of months now, max? But you just seem like someone I can talk to. Maybe it's the way you smile with your eyes. Probably I should see a shrink or whatever and not wear out my friendships blabbering about all this stuff, but who has that kind of money these days, right? Anyway, sometimes I think it's the whole "both my parents are Freudian psychoanalysts" thing that got me here in the first place, so. Heheh. Ahem.
Can I ask you something? We're all adults here, and it's not like anyone thinks life is a popularity contest anymore. But--I mean--I just don't get why people consistently clam up so much the minute I walk into a room. It's like no one knows quite what to make of me. So I'm a bit of an oddball! We can't all be cucumbers and tomatoes, am I right? Honestly, I can be a lot of fun--you wouldn't believe how I was dancing on the picnic table on the Fourth of July--but I feel like no one sees me that way. And after a while awkwardness becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because how many times can a guy be made to feel like the grim reaper of good times before his foliage gets slightly bitter? Yeah, I've got a mildly assertive taste at this point. Who could blame me?
Is it my looks, do you think? Sure, I'm a little on the portly side for a stem, and maybe I'm not the most baby-faced guy on the block. We've all read the studies, and I'd go so far as to say that in this day and age I still expect to get paid a little less than broccoli for the same work. Obviously I have to polish up my moves a little more to get the pretty girls. But I never expected things to get to the point of affecting my friendships, you know? And it's totally getting to that point right now.
Turn over a new leaf? Very funny. I wouldn't have pegged you for a punster. But then I guess this whole thing is about my not being that great at reading people, isn't it. You know what? You're right. Forget roasting. Forget braising. I'm gonna dip a stem into the water raw for Labor Day. Raw and tangy. And who knows--if it goes well, maybe I'll be back in a few weeks showing off some new moves with the leaves. Leaves for the ladiessss. Heheh. Ahem.
About the author: Carolyn Cope writes Umami Girl and manages a CSA in Hoboken, New Jersey.
- 2 medium kohlrabi stems (reserve leaves for another use)
- 1/4 cup homemade or store-bought mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the kohlrabi as specified In the Crisper. Using the julienne blade of a mandoline or the large holes on a box grater, cut or shred the kohlrabi.
Crush the garlic with the side of a chef's knife, remove the skin, and sprinkle with the salt. Smash the garlic and salt to a paste with the knife like so.
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustards, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic paste, tarragon and pepper. Whisk with a fork to combine. Add the julienned kohlrabi to the bowl and toss. Serve cold or at room temperature as an accompaniment to grilled fish, shellfish or meat.