Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bountiful Baskets - Organic Offering May 26th

Wow what a cold morning for the start of our Memorial Day weekend.  It was 50 degrees here in Henderson when I went to pick up my basket and on top of that it was windy again.  We were supposed to go swimming for a friends birthday at the M Hotel today, but I suppose I will have to be skipping the bikini today.
I wanted to do a quick post about what I got in my organic basket this week.  I used up everything from my basket last week (it was all wonderful), and I was in desperate need of some new produce.

The first thing I pulled out was these three purple globe looking things.  I had to read the tag (thank goodness there was one), 
because I had no idea what they were.  It looks like they are Kohlrabi.  Apparently they are widely popular in Central Europe and Asia but are still patiently waiting to be discovered here in the US.  I have never cooked or heard of this vegetable before so I am excited to try something new this week.  I did a little research this morning on this odd veggie and added a few things I think are worth passing on about it below.

This week's organic basket contents:
3 Red Kohlrabi
1 Head Cauliflower
1 Bunch Green Onions
3 Romaine Hearts
1 Eggplant (my favorite, lol)
5 Apples
6 Mangoes
6 Pears
8 Oranges
1 Pint of Raspberries (half of them were all smashed in the box, bummer)

Back to school I go. Kohlrabi (kol-ROB-ee) is a member of the turnip family. Some times it's called 'cabbage turnip'. It is often misclassified as a root vegetable. 

Handling: If the kohlrabi leaves are still attached to the bulb like these came today, trim them and store separately. The leaves looked like they were in good shape—firm and green—these can be cooked but will need to be used within a couple of days. The bulbs should be stored, unwashed, in a sealed plastic bag. They will stay fresh for about a week in your refrigerator. From what I read, the smaller kohlrabi are the sweetest and most tender and the red ones seem to be much more unique.  

Simple preparation: Tender, young kohlrabi is delicious eaten raw. Peel the outer skin with a paring knife. Slice, dice, or grate, and add to salads. Use on raw vegetable platters or serve with a creamy dip. Substitute in recipes calling for radishes. Grated kohlrabi can be added to slaw, but lightly salt it first and let stand for several minutes. Squeeze to remove any excess water before adding dressing. Kohlrabi can also be steamed or boiled. For this preparation don’t peel until after they are cooked. Steam or boil until bulbs are tender, peel skin, and season with butter, salt, and pepper, a cheese sauce, or just enjoy plain.  
There are a lot of other recipes for Kohlrabi online.  I found a intriguing recipe for roasting it here.
If the leaves attached to the kohlrabi bulb are fresh and green, they can also be enjoyed as a cooked green. Wash the leaves and remove the ribs. Blanch in boiling water until just wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze excess water from leaves. Chop leaves, then saute in a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add a splash of vinegar or squeeze of fresh lemon juice to freshen up all the flavors.
Did you get Kohlrabi in your basket today too?  How are you planning on using it?

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