Kohlrabi

Seriously, what could be more fun than saying “gongylodes”? Ok, well probably a lot of things. BUT, that does not take away from the sheer awesomeness of kohlrabi, the stout member of the gongylode cabbage family (known by its more common name “kohlrabi” which it got from the Germans). You’ve probably eyed it suspiciously a number of times at your local market. As fun as it is to say its name, the kohlrabi can look a bit intimidating, but fear not the gongylode. In fact, it’s a wonderful vegetable that can transform your summer dishes.

Like its other cabbage cousins (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc), kohlrabi is loaded with vitamins, minerals and free-radical fighting antioxidants including potassium (which is important during summer, especially if you sweat a lot), vitamins A, C and a good serving of calcium. And for its what-the-heck-is-that appearance, it actually has a most mild and delicate, even sweet, flavor, making it a wonderful addition to a number of dishes.

Choose a small kohlrabi (2-3 inches in diameter), which should have an edible skin. Larger ones will need peeling, especially if the outer layer is particularly fibrous. Like cabbage, they can stay fresh and edible in your refrigerator for several weeks, but hopefully you’ll eat it straight away!

Raw, you can chop and slice or grate and add kohlrabi to salads, or cut longer for use in dipping. You can sauté or steam as you would any other vegetable, making sure there’s still some crispness left to it.

But the best and maybe even most surprising way to serve kohlrabi is on the grill. Because it can be sliced in thick cuts, you can marinate and serve like a “steak” or even veggie burger alternative. Marinate in lemon juice, soy sauce, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and seasonings for 4-6 hours. You can grill in foil for a few minutes if the grill is especially hot, or grill unwrapped on the cooler parts of the grill. Then move it into the heat to get a slight char if you like. Ten to 12 minutes, max!

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: thebittenword.com