I tend to root for the underdog.
That poor sad sack trotting along in last place, the one down a million points in the match, or getting his keister kicked in the ring. That’s the guy I back every time, although to be totally honest, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because beneath all my sass I have a bit of a bleeding heart, you know the kind which wants to fix everything, especially things outside my control. “Yeah, that’s not at all frustrating,” she says oozing sarcasm and rolling her eyes skyward.
Whatever the case may be, the dark horse wins in my book.
It’s also why I had to give Kohlrabi some recipe love today.
And the crowd responds, “Kohl-What?”
See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. It’s an under-utilized, down on its luck, rarely seen vegetable. For most of us, Kohlrabi is an unknown or a bit of oddity, the last one picked for schoolyard games, the guy at the lunch table, sitting solo and poking half heartedly at his food, while ingesting nothing.
I, on the other hand, see this lonely, big, and bulbous vegetable as a diamond in the rough, an interesting treasure just waiting to be found and photographed, preferably selfie style, especially when you manage to come across one the size of your head.
Speaking of which, I doubt you’ll discover Kohlrabi at a standard grocery store, although your local farmers market might be a good bet. For me, those orbs of delight are a constant in my summer CSA share, popping up around this time every year. In fact, it’s how we first met many moons ago and the sole reason I delved into Kohlrabi territory.
I’m not 100% certain how to describe the taste and texture of Kohlrabi, which really is rather unfortunate for you. Honestly, it’s its own thing and tastes nothing like chicken. Fine, if I have to get more specific, I’d say Kohlrabi is what happens when apples, cabbage and cauliflower collide, an interesting threesome to be sure.
This summer will be my fifth year with Kohlrabi, so needless to say, I’ve prepared them in a multitude of ways. I’ve also fed them to the Hubby, who much to his own chagrin, rather enjoyed his extraterrestrial friend. I say that because he calls Kohlrabi ‘Alien Vegetables,’ all while raising his eyebrows in smug certainness that not only will he not like them, but he also has no intentions of eating them. Of course, his reluctance does not stop me from cooking with them. In fact, it makes it more of a challenge, which appeals to my competitive side (#poundschest).
I’ve roasted Kohlrabi, I’ve sautéed Kohlrabi, I’ve even taken it out for dinner, drinks and a scenic drive, ending at Lookout Point. Alright fine, I embellished on that last one, only because underdogs need love in the form of creative liberties. You understand, and if I get verbally splashy, it’s simply because I want you guys to seek out these Alien Vegetables and cook something fabulous with them, these fritters to be exact.
My version of Kohlrabi fritters is sassy, salty, and a wee bit spicy because of the happy jalapeno I tossed in the mix. They’re also a touch cheesy, not at all surprising, and most definitely well seasoned because I wouldn’t have it any other way. I strongly encourage you to do me and more importantly yourself a favor by betting on this underdog. You’ll find he’s well worth the investment.
- 1 cup packed Kohlrabi, peeled, shredded, and drained*
- 2 Eggs
- 1/3 cup Onion, diced
- 1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
- 1/2 small Jalapeno, chopped fine
- 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Flour
- 1/4 tsp. Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 - 2 Tbsps. Olive Oil for sautéing.
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined. It will resemble a sticky dough. Using your hands, form mixture into patties.
- Heat olive oil on a skillet on medium-high heat. Place patties on hot skillet, and sear on one side until brown, approximately three minutes. Flip patties and leave on medium high heat for another two minutes. They should be lightly browned. Reduce heat to low and leave on skillet until patties are cooked through, another five to seven minutes.
- Remove from skillet and eat warm. You can eat them solo or serve them with a side of sour cream for dipping. The tomatoes and greens in the pictures were really just to make them look prettier.
- To prep the kohlrabi, cut off the tentacles (you can add these to your compost bin or have fun tormenting your spouse or significant other with them - just a thought), peel the outside green layer. Shred the inside bulb in a food processor or with a grater. Sprinkle shredded kohlrabi with a little bit of salt and let sit for a fifteen minutes to help release the liquid. After 15 minutes, drain the kohlrabi using a cheese cloth, a wet paper towel or your hands. I go with the last one, mainly because I don't own any cheese cloth.
Have you ever heard of Kohlrabi? Taken selfies with them? Eaten them? If so, what’s your favorite way to prepare it?