What Is Kohlrabi?

published Jan 5, 2016
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(Image credit: Katie Webster)

The joy of discovering a new, delicious vegetable doesn’t usually happen in the cold weeks of winter. However, there’s a crisp, crunchy (and rather odd-looking) member of the cabbage family that’s begging for a place on your table right now.

You may have seen this knobby vegetable lurking around the farmers market or produce section, but if not, keep an eye out — and take this opportunity to get more aquatinted with kohlrabi (if you aren’t already, of course).

Buying and Storing Kohlrabi

When shopping for kohlrabi, look for solid, firm bulbs about three inches in diameter or less with healthy green leaves. The smaller bulbs won’t need to be peeled, while the larger bulbs tend to have less flavor, with a thicker, chewy peel. Kohlrabi is pale green to creamy white on the inside with a green or bright purple outer peel; the green variety is more popular.

When stored properly in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, kohlrabi can last for weeks.

The Easiest Ways to Cut Kohlrabi: How To Cut Up Kohlrabi

(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Preparing and Eating Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi gets big points when it comes to versatility. This odd-shaped vegetable can be eaten both raw and cooked.

The Best Ways to Use Kohlrabi: 5 Tasty Ways to Prepare Kohlrabi

When eaten raw, kohlrabi has a fresh, crisp texture that makes it ideal for salads and slaws. It’s similar to the inside of a broccoli stem, with a sweet yet mild peppery bite akin to a radish.

(Image credit: Katie Webster)

Slice or shred it, and then toss it in with your favorite salad ingredients. Or change things up by using kohlrabi as the base of your salad in place of your standard pile of greens.

Go beyond salads by roasting cubed kohlrabi, making it into fritters, tossing it into a stir-fry, or adding it into a curry.

While we typically rely on the bulb, the greens are also edible and delicious. Cook them just as you would kale, turnip, or beet greens; a quick sauté will do the trick.

Try These Kohlrabi Recipes!

This post has been updated — originally published March 2008.