Recipe: Goodbye Potatoes, Hello Kohlrabi Fries
Berkshire native Alana Chernila, local politician, mother of two, and author of the new cookbook, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making (Clarkson Potter), dispenses change and cooking ideas at the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market. She shares her peak-of-the-season recipes with Rural Intelligence to help us make the most of what’s growing in the region’s farms, fields, and gardens.
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.