Weird, wonderful kohlrabi is back in season. This relative of cabbage can boast the crispness of an apple, a flavor somewhere between broccoli and asparagus, and the appearance of a spaceship. With leaves.
The most coveted part of kohlrabi is the bulb-shaped stem, which is usually peeled, then sliced or cubed before being eaten raw or cooked. It’s great in salads and in stir-fries or roasted and sprinkled with a little Parmesan cheese.
You can also eat the leaves, which taste quite similar to collards. Try braising the leaves with lots of garlic, then adding the chopped stem and a splash of soy sauce for the last few minutes of cooking.
Several varieties of kohlrabi are grown in the South, but the vegetable comes in two basic colors: purple or “white,” which is really light green. There’s not much difference in taste, but some kohlrabi lovers claim that the purple varieties are a little sweeter. Whichever color you prefer, select kohlrabies with stems about 2 inches in diameter, as most varieties get woody as they get bigger. Look for smooth, uncracked skin and unwilted leaves. At home, separate the stalks and leaves from the stems and store them separately in plastic bags to delay wilting of the leaves.
Farmers market openings this week
● Cotton Mill Farmers Market, held two blocks north of the Carrollton square at 401 Rome St., runs from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.
● Farmers Atlanta Road Market, held Tuesdays in the parking lot of St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church at 2160 Cooper Lake Road in Smyrna (at the intersection of Atlanta Road and the East-West Connector) begins at 4 p.m. and ends when the vendors run out of food — or 8 p.m., whichever comes first.
At local farmers markets
Arugula, beets, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, celery, collards, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, green garlic, endive mix, escarole, fennel, green onions, greens, micro greens, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsnips, pea shoots, radishes, rutabagas, salad mix, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips
From farther afield
Looking good: California asparagus, Florida beans, Guatemalan blackberries, Chilean blueberries, California and New York cabbage, California corn, Florida eggplant, Texas grapefruit, Chilean grapes, California and Carolina greens, Chilean and Italian kiwifruit, California lettuce, Chilean nectarines, California oranges, Chilean peaches, Washington and South American pears, Florida peppers, Chilean raspberries, Washington rhubarb, California spinach, Florida summer squash and strawberries, Caribbean watermelon
Coming in: Washington asparagus, California beans, Florida blueberries, Georgia cabbage, Florida cantaloupe, California eggplant, Mexican grapes, Vidalia onions, California peas and peppers, North Carolina strawberries, Florida watermelon
Variable quality: California artichokes, Mexican beans, Texas and Mexican beets, Mexican blackberries, California and Mexican broccoli, Florida and Texas cabbage, Florida and Mexican corn, Mexican eggplant, Texas greens and oranges, Guatemalan peas, Florida and Mexican radishes, California and Mexican raspberries, Mexican summer squash, California strawberries, Florida and Mexican tomatoes, Mexican watermelon
Local reports and the Packer
Kohlrabi-Carrot Salad With Peanut Dressing
Hands on: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
Serve this Thai-inspired salad (adapted from a recipe on cookthink.com) right away for a crunchy treat, or chill in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours before serving to slightly soften the crispy vegetables. 1 tablespoon peanut butter
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 kohlrabi, stems and leaves removed, bulb peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, vinegar and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the mixture is too thick to drizzle, stir in 1 teaspoon water.
In a serving bowl, combine the kohlrabi and carrot slices. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat. (Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours if desired.) Sprinkle with the green onions before serving.
Per serving: 40 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 2 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated), no cholesterol, 34 milligrams sodium.