28 June 2011

When life gives you kohlrabi, make rémoulade.

Kohlrabi, the misunderstood German Turnip

There's a certain satisfaction that comes with being able to create something wonderful out of something otherwise ordinary, or, in this case, almost peculiar. I particularly enjoy our vegetable co-op deliveries for that element of surprise followed by the challenge of making something unexpected, not to mention a weekly supply of worthy subjects to photograph.

Tonight we enjoyed a slaw of grated kohlrabi as a side dish, which tastes very similar to a broccoli stem, with a simple rémoulade of mayonnaise, lemon and celery seed. The slaw was tossed with grated carrots, young red onions and slightly-cooked peas and served on a crisp leaf of red lettuce. (The celery seed is a staple ingredient in our household for flavoring salads. If you don't have a small jar in your pantry, get one.)

Kohlrabi (German turnip) (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage that will grow almost anywhere. The name comes from the German Kohl ("cabbage") plus Rübe ~ Rabi (Swiss German variant) ("turnip"), because the swollen stem resembles the latter. The same roots are also found in the German word Kohlrübe, which refers to the rutabaga. Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth (a swollen, nearly spherical shape); its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: They are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).*

*Thanks again, Wikipedia.

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