Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Don't judge a veggie by its alien-like appearance

We were out much of the weekend, so the only CSA item I used was some lettuce in a wrap (I know, exciting!)

But last night, I knew it was time...to try the kohlrabi! I forgot to take a picture of mine, but it was the pinkish-purple variety:

It really does not look like something you are supposed to eat, but I wanted to try it. Unfortunately, my cookbooks had little to say about it, so I had to look online. Many recipes called for it raw, but I wanted a cooked option for dinner.

Then I happened upon this recipe in The New York Times:

Kohlrabi Risotto

I was familiar with risotto--I'd made it multiple times with general success. Plus, we had all the ingredients listed. So I decided to take the plunge.

I'm glad the Times article included directions on prepping the kohlrabi. Otherwise, I would not have known that I had to peel off the outer, pink layer, then peel an additional layer, lest I risk getting strings stuck in my throat. Oh boy, this is sounding more tempting by the minute! I mistakenly thought peeling it would be like peeling an onion, but it was much more difficult, even after I cut off the ends. After struggling a bit to peel it like an orange, I gave up and just cut off the sides with the peel.

It smelled...like broccoli. I chopped it up as indicated in the recipe. I also used one of the white onions from our CSA share, and used a bit of the parsley in the end.

Making the risotto involved the usual frequent stirring and the thought that it would never be ready. Come on, rice, ABSORB! But finally, it was.

Yeah, I need to work on my plating!
Then I tried it. The risotto part was great (I actually used wine in it for a change, so I think that helped). The kohlrabi part tasted like...slightly milder broccoli. It had the texture of maybe a lightly cooked carrot? Or a lightly cooked broccoli stem.

So this exotic-looking vegetable turned out to be a bit of a letdown. I'm not saying it wasn't good, just that I could get a similar flavor profile in a vegetable that's sold in every grocery store.

I think if we get them again, I'll go for an Indian or stir-fry preparation, as mentioned in a few places online. I could try it raw, but I'm not really a fan of raw broccoli, so I'm pretty sure of how that will taste.

Looking forward to finding out what's in tomorrow's box!

1 comment:

  1. It was new to me until I got it in my Gorman's share last year. Try roasting it! I'm a big fan of it that way, both for flavor and ease of prep.