Part bulb, part bundle of greens, kohlrabi may seem one of the more intimidating items at the farmers' market, but it offers a delightful combination of familiar tastes. "It's got the texture of a radish and the sweetness of jicama, with a slight hint of broccoli," says food editor Sarah Carey. "The edible leaves are like a milder version of collards." Along with other cruciferous vegetables, kohlrabi is member of the brassica clan and is packed with vitamin C and potassium.
In Season: This cool-weather crop is at its best from early fall through spring.
What to Look For: Choose kohlrabi with unblemished leaves and a bulb that's three to four inches in diameter; the bulb should not appear cracked or overgrown.
How to Store: Cut off leaves, wrap them in a damp paper towel, and place in a plastic bag. Leaves can be refrigerated for three to four days; the bulb for several weeks.
Sweet apple is a perfect complement to mild, crisp kohlrabi in this simple slaw.
Kohlrabi, cut into matchsticks
Apple, cut into matchsticks
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1. Mix kohlrabi and apple matchsticks (both peeled or not) with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Snap out of your usual snacking routine with these addictive little crunch-bombs.
Very thinly sliced, unpeeled kohlrabi
1. Toss kohlrabi with olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat. Bake at 250 degrees, rotating sheet, until crisp and deep golden, 35 minutes to 1 hour; transfer chips as they're done to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt.
Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream
This hearty, comforting side dish utilizes kohlrabi leaves as well as the stems.
Cubes of peeled kohlrabi
Thinly sliced white onion
Finely shredded kohlrabi leaves
Salt and pepper
1. Cook kohlrabi and onion in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender. Stir in kohlrabi leaves, and cook until wilted. Add a generous splash of heavy cream, and cook for a few seconds to reduce. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve with chicken, pork chops, or steak.
Shaved Kohlrabi and Arugula Salad with Chunky Garlic and Pimenton Dressing
Use a mandoline to slice raw kohlrabi wafer-thin, allowing you to make the most of its delicate, crunchy texture. The dressing's creamy roasted garlic is an ideal counterpart to the crisp vegetable.
2 medium heads garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon pimenton picante (hot Spanish smoked paprika)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium or 1 large kohlrabi (1 pound), trimmed
1 1/2 cups arugula, trimmed
1 ounce toasted sliced almonds (1/4 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove 1 garlic clove from 1 head, and very finely grate, setting aside 1/8 teaspoon. Wrap remaining heads of garlic in foil, and roast until very soft and golden inside, about 1 hour. Unwrap; let cool.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together grated garlic, lemon zest and juice, paprika, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Squeeze roasted garlic from skins, and add 2 tablespoons to bowl, reserving remainder for another use. Stir to combine but leave very chunky. Stir in oil (do not completely incorporate).
3. Shave kohlrabi very thinly on a mandoline. Divide among 4 plates; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Spoon dressing over kohlrabi, then top with arugula leaves and almonds.
Asian Noodle Soup with Winter Vegetables and Tofu
Kohlrabi and snow peas add crunch to this soothing soup.
6 cups water
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed and reserved, caps cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms (5 large)
1 six-inch square dried kombu
3/4 cup bonito flakes (1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1/2 large sweet potato (about 4 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
6 ounces soba noodles (2 bundles)
3 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved
3 ounces kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick sticks
8 ounces silken tofu, cut into 8 slices
1. Bring 6 cups water, mushroom stems, dried mushrooms, and kombu to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, and add bonito flakes. Let stand until flakes sink to bottom of pot, about 3 minutes.
2. Line a sieve with cheesecloth. Strain broth through sieve into pot, and discard solids. Stir in soy sauce and mirin. (You should have 5 cups.)
3. Cook sweet potato in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add noodles to boiling water. Cook according to package directions. Drain. Rinse with cold water.
4. Divide noodles among 4 bowls. Arrange sweet potato, sliced mushroom caps, snow peas, kohlrabi, and tofu on top of noodles. Bring broth to a simmer, then immediately divide among bowls. Serve immediately.
More from Martha Stewart:
15 Kitchen Shortcuts That Will Change the Way You Cook
35 Beyond Delicious No-Bake Dessert Recipes
36 Dinners You Can Make in Just 15 Minutes!
No-Mess One-Bowl Desserts: 12 Recipes for Lazy Bakers
The golden rule of cooking new-to-you veggies? When all else fails, put it in a stir-fry.