Recipe: Kohlrabi Fries
Berkshire native Alana Chernila, mother of two, and author of the cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), dispenses change and cooking ideas to readers and friends. She shares her peak-of-the-season recipes with Rural Intelligence to help us make the most of what’s growing in our region. Her first cookbook has achieved top-seller status, and Chernila has a new one in the works; tentatively titled “Meals from the Homemade Pantry,” due out in 2015.
My husband Joey mourns my infrequent cooking of potatoes. “More potatoes!” he cries. I don’t feel so bad for him. He eats pretty well for a guy who was raised on Taco Bell with a side of pizza. But fries might be one of my favorite things — good fries, fancy or cheap, as long as they are hot and not rubbery in any way. And really, I don’t cook so many potatoes because… well, whatever it is, I just think about how those potatoes should have been fries.
So the other day, I’m staring this beautiful bunch of kohlrabi in the face, or, rather, in the weird UFO-like purple tendons, and I start thinking that you might be looking for something to do with your own big beautiful bunch of kohlrabi.
There are a lot of possibilities here—this vegetable will treat you well. Eat the greens like collards, and peel the pretty outer layer off of the bulb. Peel it all off, even a bit of the flesh, to make sure you’ve removed every last bit of the tough skin. From there, you can go raw, shred it in a slaw, put it into a soup, mix it with mint and puree it… This vegetable is versatile. It has an apple-like taste, but more savory and mild.
All that said, I had fries on the brain. And although I’d never heard of kohlrabi fries, I thought it had a pretty good ring to it. Potatoes, shmatatoes. I have found a new love.
1 bunch (about 4 bulbs) kohlrabi, purple or green
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Separate the kohlrabi bulbs from the greens. (Save the greens for cooking later.) Peel the bulbs thoroughly, until you have a white orb of kohlrabi. Slice into rough batons, or fry-like slices.
Toss with a glug or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread onto an oiled baking sheet and bake, occasionally shuffling with a spatula, for about 40 minutes, or until brown, tender on the inside, and a bit crispy on the edges. Serve hot, with a bit more salt to taste.
Reprinted with permission from Eatingfromthegroundup.com. All text and photos copyright 2008-13 by Alana Chernila.