We’re getting kohlrabi in our shares this week; it’s a lesser-known vegetable and one that looks like it came from another planet. I find that its best role is as a crudite. Just peel, slice and then dip, dunk, or spread. It’s crisp, holds its shape, and doesn’t have a strong taste of its own. It can also be added to salads and slaws, sliced, chopped, or grated. Any mashed potato dish can be enhanced with kohlrabi—it’s lower in calories and carbs than potatoes.
ROASTED: Toss with a little oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs, and roast or broil; it’s great when roasted with other vegetables.
STEAMED: Slice and steam for a couple of minutes, over water or in a microwave. Then use in soups, frittatas, or spice it up and use as a side dish.
FRITTERS: Grate, mix with egg and breadcrumbs or flour; add salt, pepper, herbs, spices. Heat oil on a griddle, drop the batter in small mounds then flatten. Fry until crispy, then flip.
If you want more elaborate recipes, there is a bunch of them here:
and one that combines kohlrabi with blueberries and fennel here:
CRUNCHY RED DEVILS recipe by A. Doncsecz, Vegetarian Gourmet
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup hot red pepper sauce
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
½ teaspoon sugar
2 medium kohlrabi bulbs
Whisk together all ingredients except kohlrabi with ½ cup water. Peel and thinly slice kohlrabi; stir into marinade, coating evenly. Cover and refrigerate 2-3 days, stirring occasionally. Serve cold or at room temperature.
STIR-FRIED KOHLRABI from The Goodness of Potatoes and Root Vegetables by John Midgley
2 kohlrabi, peeled
2 medium carrots
3 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch piece gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green onions, sliced
1 fresh chili pepper, sliced, optional
3 tablespoons oyster sauce (optional)
2 teaspoons sesame oil & soy sauce, each
Slice kohlrabi and carrots into thin ovals. Heat oil in large heavy skillet; when it begins to smoke, toss in garlic and ginger. Stir once then add kohlrabi and carrots; toss and cook 2 minutes. Add green onions and chilies; stir-fry 1 minute, then pour in ½ cup water. Cover, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Remove cover and toss in a little salt and the sesame and soy, and oyster if using. Serve with rice.
ROASTED KOHLRABI WITH CRUNCHY SEEDS
Adapted from Perfect Vegetables by the Cook’s Illustrated Team
3 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the kohlrabi, oil, seeds, and S & P together in a large bowl until combined. In a single layer spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast (with rack in middle position), shaking pan occasionally, until the kohlrabi is browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and adjust seasonings to taste, serve immediately.
Twenty years ago, when I first joined CSA, I threw away my garlicscapes. They didn’t fit anywhere in the refrigerator and sprang out every time I opened the door. I had no idea what to do with them. When I learned how to use them, I became a fan, as did many other members; scapes are now are an eagerly-awaited favorite.
I’ve included a list of “things to do with garlic scapes” but basically—just chop them up and use them like garlic. I find that they’re easier to use—no paper to peel—and give a milder, though still deep, garlic taste. A long scape goes a long way once it’s chopped and scapes last for a long time. Just roll them up and put them in the crisper drawer in a plastic bag to keep them all together. They can frozen, but I find that they last so long that I use them up before they go bad.
THINGS TO DO WITH GARLIC SCAPES
SCAPEY WHITE SAUCE
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped garlic scape (about 1 long scape)
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk, heated until almost—but not—boiling; 3 minutes in microwave
Salt, pepper to taste; grated nutmeg if you have it.
Melt the butter in a saucepan; add the garlicscape and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until combine; it should be thick. Whisk for another two minutes. Then pour in the hot milk—carefully—and whisk stir until fully combined. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and any other herbs. This is great with greens, turnips, potatoes, pasta.
Add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of finely chopped garlicscape to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, or mayonnaise/horseradish sauce combination. Makes a super sandwich spread.
When we have a lot scapes—not this week—saute them, cut into manageable lengths—in butter and/or olive oil until they are browned and soft. I don’t think they work as a side dish on their own, but mixed with other broiled, roasted, or sautéed vegetables, they add a great taste. And layering a length of sautéed scape into a sandwich adds a wonderful texture and flavor.
Chop a scape into small pieces—or whirl it a food processor—and combine with soft butter; add some chopped herbs. Spread it on bread and warm the bread in the oven for a minute or two.
GARLIC SCAPE SOUP
From Super Natural Cooking, by Heidi Swanson
1 tablespoon clarified butter or extra-virgin olive oil
12 garlic scapes, flower buds discarded and green shoots chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into ½ inch dice
2 to 3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large handful spinach leaves (or other greens), stemmed
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs heavy cream (optional)
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the scapes and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the potatoes and stock, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and beginning to break down.
Remove from the heat, add the spinach, and puree using a hand blender. (If you must use a conventional blender, be careful; the hot liquid can burst out the top and make a huge, potentially painful mess. Try leaving the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Cover the top with a kitchen towel and blend in batches at low speed.)
Season with the lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
Whisk in the cream for a silkier texture.
If the soup tastes flat, add salt a few big pinches at a time until the flavors really pop.
Serves 2 to 3.
10 large garlic scapes
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios
1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)
Serve over pasta; Serves 8-10
I was planning a major article on purslane. But then Dick Sandhaus (of the Better, Cheaper, Slower blog) sent me a killer recipe. And I found an article that covers every aspect of purslane better than I could hope to. I’m pasting the article and the link below; if you check out the link, you’ll find links to all the recipes mentioned. Dick Sandhaus’ recipe precedes the article.
|FROM DICK SANDHAUS’ BETTER CHEAPER SLOWER BLOG—an ancient Greek salad
I made two medium-size salads with:
1 cup of purslane
1 clove of garlic
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1/2-cup of feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 small wedge of lemon, juiced
3 sprigs of fresh oregano (optional)
1/2-cup of cucumber slices (optional)
Fry the purslane and garlic in 1 teaspoon of olive oil over low heat for 8 minutes. Stir in the optional oregano for 30 seconds, then remove the pan from heat. While your weeds are frying, slice the cherry tomatoes in half, crumble the feta and toss them with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.
Slice the optional cucumber if you want a traditional Greek diner touch. Toss the fried purslane with everything else and serve with or on the cucumber slices.
45 WAYS TO USE PURSLANE, from Zucchini and Chocolate blog
Have you ever cooked with purslane, or Portulaca oleracea as it is known to botanists? It is a succulent plant whose edible, delicious leaves are crunchy and slightly mucilaginous, with a tangy lemony and peppery flavor.
It is generally harvested from early June till the end of summer, and can either be foraged or purchased, usually from a farmers market or through a CSA share. The wild variety, which is actually considered a weed by many gardeners, is rampant and has pinkish stems (see picture above), while cultivated varieties tend to grow vertically and display greenish stems.
Purslane has been consumed since ancient times, and because it grows easily in hot and not too dry climates, it is represented in many cuisines of the world, from Greece to Mexico, and from Turkey to India by way of South Africa. (Here’s a handy list of its aliases in different languages.)
It is a bit of a nutritional powerhouse, offering remarkable amounts of minerals (most notably calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium), omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins (A, B, C), and antioxydants. It is thought to be an important component of the Cretan high-life-expectancy diet, and Michael Pollan has called it one of the two most nutritious plants on the planet in his In Defense of Food manifesto (the other is lamb’s quarters if you want to hunt for that too).
Although the stems are edible when still young (and can be pickled), cooks usually keep only the leaves and thin, spindly stems at the top, which are simply plucked from the central stem. The process is slow-going, but rewarding in the end. Because purslane grows so close to the earth, and especially if it is foraged*, it should be rinsed very well, in several baths of fresh water (I usually do three), with a bit of vinegar.
And once you have your bowlful of squeaky clean and vibrant little leaves, what do you do with them? Purslane is mostly eaten raw, but can also be cooked for a change of pace. I’ve gathered 45 purslane recipes for you — and hope you’ll add your own favorites in the comments section!
* Some people report that they find it growing from sidewalk cracks or in city parks, but I wouldn’t recommend foraging it from there.
Best Pairings for Purslane Recipes
– Purslane + cucumber
– Purslane + tomato
– Purslane + avocado
– Purslane + nuts (esp. almonds and walnuts)
– Purslane + garlic
– Purslane + lemon
– Purslane + vinegar
– Purslane + marjoram
– Purslane + chili pepper
– Purslane + eggs
– Purslane + cream
– Purslane + fresh cheese (esp. feta)
– Purslane + hard cheese (esp. parmesan)
– Purslane + fish
– Purslane + shellfish
– Purslane + duck
– Purslane + lamb
– Purslane + legumes (esp. black beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
– Purslane + stone fruits (esp. peaches, nectarines, and plums)
Purslane in salads
– Purslane salad with sesame oil, rice vinegar, gomasio, and strips of nori
– Purslane and potato salad with capers or anchovies
– Purslane salad with chunks of peaches and fresh goat cheese, or with a peach dressing
– Fattouche salad with toasted chips of pita bread
– Purslane salad with a white dressing (i.e. a classic vinaigrette with cream or buttermilk in place of oil)
– Purslane salad with black barley and watermelon
– Purslane salad with diced red bell peppers, lemon juice, and olive oil (the vitamin C in the bell peppers and lemon juice helps with the iron absorbency)
– Purslane salad with grilled corn and a creamy avocado dressing
– Purslane salad with walnuts, crispy bacon, and finely diced red onion
– Purslane salad with quinoa, peas, and radishes
– Purslane salad with diced tomatoes and cucumbers in a pomegranate molasses dressing
– Purslane salad with fregola sarda or Israeli couscous
– Purslane salad with chickpeas and a zaatar dressing
– Purslane salad with walnuts, sumac, and “grated” tomatoes
Purslane with meat
– Serve as a side salad with duck magret
– Stew with pork in a tomatillo sauce, Mexican-style (puerco con verdolagas)
– Stew with lamb and lentils
Purslane with fish
– Use purslane in a stuffing for baked fish
– Process purslane with a little cream or yogurt and make a green sauce to drizzle over fish
– Serve as a side salad with wild salmon, lobster, or crab
– No-cook cucumber and purslane soup
– Portuguese purslane soup with potatoes
– Purslane and almond soup, adapted from this green bean and almond soup
– A Moroccan-style cooked salad
– Purslane spanakopita
– Purslane borek
– Sauté briefly (2-5 min) in olive oil
– Steam briefly (2-5 min) and dress with olive oil and lemon juice
– Make tempura with the tender tops
– Add to dal
Purslane in beverages
– Make green smoothies (purslane will make them creamier) with blueberries, kiwis, peaches, or tropical fruit (it’s okay to freeze purslane for use in smoothies)
– Make a cucumber and purslane slushie
– Make tea with the leaves; it is said to help ease headaches, bring down a fever, soothe sore throats, and combat inflammation.
Other purslane uses
– Pickled purslane
– Purslane vinegar
– Purslane pesto
– Purslane tzatziki (use purslane instead of, or in addition to the cucumber)
– Add to scrambled eggs and omelets
– Make green pancakes (recipe from my book!)
– Toss with pasta as in this pasta with tetragon
– Sprinkle over pizza just before serving
– Use as a garnish for gazpacho, chilled zucchini soup, or asparagus soup
– Add to sandwiches for crunch; it would be great in a lobster roll or a BLT.
– Add to salsa and salsa verde
– And if you ever tire of it, feed it to your chickens! Their eggs will be richer in omega-3 fatty acids.
TURNIP QUICKIES AND PICKLES
Last week’s turnips were not the little spring turnips I’d expected. Here are some recipes that are more appropriate for big, tougher turnips. And, in response to a request, I’ve included a recipe for pickled turnip stems at the end; I haven’t tested it and if someone does, let me know how It works.
SAUTÉED TURNIPS AND GREENS
Cook peeled and cut-up turnips and sliced garlic in olive oil in a large skillet until tender. Add the turnip greens (or other greens) and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
ROASTED TURNIPS WITH GINGER
Peel and cut turnips into wedges. Toss with sliced fresh ginger, canola oil, salt, and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with honey and roast at 400° F until tender.
MASHED TURNIPS WITH CRISPY BACON
Simmer peeled and cut-up turnips in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash with butter, salt, and pepper. Fold in crumbled cooked bacon and chopped chives; top with shaved Parmesan.
CREAMY LEEK AND TURNIP SOUP
Cook thinly sliced leeks in butter in a large saucepan until soft. Add peeled and cut-up turnips and enough chicken broth to cover. Simmer until very tender. Puree until smooth, adding water or broth as necessary to adjust the consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
Pickled Turnips, from David Lebovits, http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/09/pickled-turnips-turnip-recipe/
(check out the link for more info)
You can dial down the amount of garlic, but I like the slightly aggressive flavor of the slices in the brine. Use whatever white salt is available where you are, but avoid fine table salt as it’s quite unpleasant and bitter. Gray salt will discolor the brine.
For those who like to tinker, although these are usually served as they are, a few sprigs of fresh dill, or dill flowers, in the brine will take them in a different direction. A hot pepper will add some zip.
3 cups (750 ml) water
1/3 cup (70 g) coarse white salt, such as kosher salt or sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup (250 ml) white vinegar (distilled)
2-pounds (1 kg) turnips, peeled
1 small beet, or a few slices from a regular-size beet, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1. In a saucepan, heat about one-third of the water. Add the salt and bay leaf, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the vinegar and the rest of the water.
3. Cut the turnips and the beet into batons, about the size of French fries. Put the turnips, beets, and garlic slices into a large, clean jar, then pour the salted brine over them in the jar, including the bay leaf.
4. Cover and let sit at room temperature, in a relatively cool place, for one week. Once done, they can be refrigerated until ready to serve.
Storage: The pickles will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. They’ll be rather strong at first, but will mellow after a few days. They should be enjoyed within a six weeks after they’re made, as they tend to get less-interesting if they sit too long. If you are interested in canning, check here for tips on canning pickles.
PICKLED TURNIP STEMS
From: KRCW Good Food
This is the simplest way to use a bit of vegetable that usually ends up in the compost bin. It is great to have around for a garnish on a pulled pork sandwich or as a simple topping for a chilled summer soup. Try this technique with other greens as well. It’s a fun one.
4 cups small turnip stems
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig fresh thyme
3?4 tablespoon pickling salt
1 tablespoon white granulated sugar 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
3?4 cup cider vinegar 3?4 cup water
Cut the turnip stems into 1?4-inch lengths. Pack the stems, garlic, and thyme into the jars, leaving 1?2 inch of headspace at the top, and set aside.
Combine the salt, sugar, mustard seeds, vinegar, and water in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jars, leaving 1?2 inch of headspace in each. Cap with lids and bands, cool for 2 hours, and then either refrigerate or process according to the jar manufac- turer’s directions.
The pickles can be refrigerated for 7 to 10 days; if processed, they will keep for up to 10 months.