Kohlrabi isn’t pretty, but it’s sure easy to love.
Pale green or burnished red, the little sputnik-shaped vegetable is delicious both raw and cooked; its flavor is reminiscent of broccoli without the bite. The name is German for “cabbage turnip” and like both fall vegetables, it’s in high season right now.
When shopping farmers markets, look for the smaller bulbs, about the size of tennis balls, that feel heavy for their size. They don’t require peeling, unlike the larger kohlrabi that tend to be coarse and tough.
When roasted, kohlrabi turns tender with a nice nutty flavor and makes a fine partner to beets, also at their peak. Magenta beets, with their sweet earthy flavor, bring contrast and flavor to brighten up the plate. No need to peel beets, either, just trim and scrub before using.
Both beets and kohlrabi are dense, low-moisture vegetables. The key to roasting them is to use low heat and allow more time in the oven than vegetables with more moisture, such as eggplant or zucchini.
Preparation requires nothing more than a glazing of oil, a sprinkling of salt and a big roasting pan. Be sure to cut the vegetables into like-sized pieces so they are ready at the same time.
Once cooked, top them with a couple of fried eggs, arrange them in a salad, or sprinkle with curry powder and top with yogurt. Try them with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. This is the kind of dish you can make on autopilot without a recipe. It’s deliciously easy, and 100% stress-free.
Roasted Kohlrabi and Beet Salad with Chèvre
Note: This dish showcases the best of both vegetables without a lot of work. Turn this into an entree by topping with a couple of fried eggs or sautéed chicken or dust with Parmesan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve over pasta or rice. From Beth Dooley.
• 1 to 1 1/2 lb. kohlrabi, about 2 medium-sized
• 1 to 1 1/2 lb. beets, about 2 to 3 medium-sized
• 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
• 1 tsp. coarse salt
• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1 head coral or leaf lettuce
• 2 oz. chèvre, broken into little pieces
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and trim the kohlrabi and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Trim and scrub the beets and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Toss vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the oil to coat and spread them out on a baking sheet so the pieces do not touch. Sprinkle with the salt. Roast until tender and slightly browned, shaking the pan and turning at least once or twice for even cooking and browning, about 30 to 35 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and lemon juice.
Arrange the lettuce on a serving plate and arrange the vegetables on top of the lettuce. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Scatter chèvre pieces over the vegetables. Season with the salt and pepper and garnish with the parsley before serving.
Beth Dooley is the author of “In Winter’s Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.