WTF Is Kohlrabi & How Do I Cook It?

Photo: Courtesy of Davide Luciano/Impatient Foodie.
By Elettra Wiedemann 

For the first installment of “What the F*** Is This and How Do I Cook It?” I’d like to introduce a new friend: kohlrabi. NYC restaurants have been pushing kohlrabi recently, but honestly, I have yet to try a recipe that has really blown my mind.

In fact, between us, I have kind of hated all the kohlrabi dishes I have tried to date. But, as I stared at this strange-looking vegetable at the farmer’s market, I felt bad for it. Maybe kohlrabi had just been misused and misrepresented? Then, someone walked by with a cone of Belgian fries, and I almost died of jealousy and tried to remember the last time I indulged in a whole plate of French fries (answer: when I was stoned in college).

I looked back at the kohlrabi and was like, “OMG, I am going to try and fry this bitch.” Then, I remembered that I didn’t have a fryer, so I settled for baking it on a baking tray. When I got home and did a web search, it turned out I was not the first person to have this genius idea. However, despite reassurances from various Paleo blogs that kohlrabi fries are “delicious,” I was doubtful. 

But, you know what? The kohlrabi fries were pretty tasty! I wouldn’t say that they are exactly like regular French fries (they lack the starch for that crunch), but they tasted good, and the crunchy edges were satisfying. So, in conclusion, kohlrabi fries are a yummy, health-conscious alternative to deep-fried potatoes. I ate these with some mayo mixed with a tiny bit of ketchup, and they were awesome (mayo alone would be super-yummy, too, I think).

Kohlrabi Fries

1 kohlrabi
1 tbsp olive oil 
Generous pinch of salt 
Generous pinch of chili powder 
Sprinkle of cumin
Sprinkle of paprika

1. Heat your oven to 425°F.

2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.

3. Wash and peel your kohlrabi (I used a sharp knife to cut off the skin, but take care not to cut off too much of the flesh).

4. Cut the kohlrabi lengthwise into quarters.

5. Now, cut about 1/2-inch-thick slices and then cut those slices into French-fry shapes.

6. Toss the kohlrabi fries in a large bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, some chili powder, paprika, and cumin. I did this based on my taste. If you like spicy, add more chili. If you love cumin, add more! You get the picture…remember, you can always add, but you cannot take away.

7. Place coated kohlrabi on your coated baking sheet and give each fry about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch to breathe on either side (if you overcrowd, they will steam, which is no bueno).

8. Bake for 30 minutes at 425°F, shaking once at the 15-minute point.

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