The Kohlrabi Has Landed…

…in my CSA bag for 3 weeks in a row.  I admit, even though I’m a well-seasoned vegetarian, this odd vegetable stumped me for uses and it was necessary to run to Google and figure out finally, after 3 weeks, what in the hell to do with multiple kohlrabi (is that the plural?  So confusing.).

While strange looking, sorta like a hot air balloon while it grows, kohlrabi possesses many attributes worth notice:

  • Low in calories, only 19 for a half cup raw, sliced
  • High in dietary fiber, 2.5 grams for one-half cup
  • Potassium content peaks at 245 grams for one-half cup
  • Vitamin content for that same one-half cup includes 25 I.U. vitamin A, 43.4 mg. vitamin C, 11.3 mcg folic acid, and 16.8 mg. calcium.

Turns out, this little guy is also known as a German Turnip and is the bee’s knees in Kashmir where it is the most consumed vegetable (food must really suck in Kashmir).  Everywhere I searched, the claim is that kohlrabi is delish both raw and cooked. Well, I’m here to tell you people, while there are several varieties of this alien veggie, I apparently got the two that suck raw.  Both white and purple variety of kohlrabi, are dare I say it, horrible raw…so off to the interwebs I went in search of a way to browbeat this veg into submission.  I found the perfect solution:  empanadas!  Pie crust can make ANYTHING taste better.  I present to you:  Kohlrabi and Sweet Potato Empanadas.

  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2-3 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 large sweet potato, cooked and smashed
  • 2 large scallions, both white and green parts, finely cut
  • 1 radish, minced (optional)
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 box of pre-made pie crust or one batch homemade*
  • 1 egg

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In a medium skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and ginger to brown.  Add kohlrabi cubes, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Toss well and cook 3 or 4 minutes until kohlrabi are softening a bit.  Add potato mash and continue to cook for 4 more minutes.  Add scallions, radish, nutmeg, coriander and another pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook for one minute before removing from heat.  Set mixture to this side to cool.  It should be a very, very dry, looking mixture.  Moisture equals disaster for empanadas.

Roll out dough to be a little thinner than pie crust typically is.  If you are using pre-made crust from the store, run your rolling pin over it once or twice.   Using a cereal bowl or large circular cookie cutter, cut out 6 inch-ish circles from the dough.  It should yield about 15, give or take depending on your cutter and dough thickness.

Pre-heat oven to 425F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.   Prepare egg wash by beating egg with a teaspoon of water and set to the side along with a small bowl of water.

To make the empanadas, spoon one teaspoon of kohlrabi  mixture into the center of a circle of dough (it’s better to have less filling than too much or the empanadas won’t hold together. Feel out the right ratio that allows you to close off the dough without any filling popping out.).   Dip your finger in the bowl of water and run it around the outside edge of the dough.  Fold dough over the filling to create a half circle.  Press down edges.  Carefully pick up the dough pocket and pinch edges or use a fork, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with the egg wash.  The video below shows how to appropriately fill and thus seal an empanada.  Caution:  it only LOOKS easy.  By the time you have made all of your precious empanadas your last one will look like this person’s first one; it is however, well worth the effort.

After you assemble the dough pockets, pop them into the preheated oven, cooking for 8 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for 5 more minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly on a rack so they don’t get soggy.  I served mine warm with what else, Frank’s Red Hot.

**My next kohlrabi experiment is going to be this:  Kohlrabi Curry.

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2 responses to “The Kohlrabi Has Landed…

  1. I don’t know what I love more, the inspiration you give me in the kitchen or the voice in your writing. Keep up the great work culinary extraordinaire!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Kohlrabi Tofu Scramble | Veg Bon Vivant

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