Monday, January 30, 2012

North Cyprus Vegetables - Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi - otherwise known as "cabbage turnip" due to the literal translation of the name from German to English. Kohlrabi grow almost anywhere, and are popular in North Cyprus. It comes in two different colours, purple and green, and both varieties are prepared and cooked in the same way. The bulb, stems and leaves can be eaten, the leaves are similar to spinach, and the bulb tastes slightly sweeter than a cabbage or a turnip. Kohlrabi is a good source of Vitamin C, as well as magnesium and phosphorous.

Choosing a good kohlrabi is essential, the larger ones tend to be woody, so a smaller one around 5cm wide is a good choice unless you intend to use it in a stew, where it will be cooked for a considerable amount of time. The leaves should be bright green and fresh, and the bulb should be firm and not wrinkled. You can store whole kohlrabi for up to 2 weeks in a dark, dry place, with plenty of circulating air.

Preparing the kohlrabi is quite easy, you need to snip off the leaves and stems where they meet the bulb. You can then cook the leaves by boiling them in water, as you would cabbage. You can eat the stems raw if you want to, as they are crunchy and a good addition to salads. The bulb needs to always be peeled before you can use it, however the skins can be quite tough, so a sharp knife is essential. Start at the top of the bulb where the stems were, and peel off all of the green/purple skin, until you reach the white flesh. You need to remove all of the skin properly, with no green left on the vegetable, as the skin goes very stringy if you do not remove all of it before cooking. The root part at the bottom can be quite difficult to remove, as it is extremely tough.

You can now chop your kohlrabi into chunks for use in a stew or soups, or thinly slice then blanch for use in salads. Kohlrabi also tastes great roasted (steam the whole kohlrabi for 5 minutes, then roast for 45 minutes), steamed (up to 12 minutes), stir-fried (high heat up to 6 minutes) or deep fried and used as fritters. 

No comments:

Post a Comment