I grew up watching a steady diet of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Wars movie marathons. I have seen every Star Trek movie ever made but somehow managed to never watch A Christmas Story. Doctor Who is on any time I can’t find something new and interesting to watch on TV. And although I might be the only nerd who doesn’t think that Firefly was the greatest TV show ever, I am still a pretty huge sci-fi nerd.
Something about all that traveling to new worlds. Meeting new people. Eating new food.
The first time I saw kohlrabi, I was sure I was seeing a vegetable right out of a sci-fi movie. There was this weird spindly vegetable at the farmers market. I had been exploring sweet corn, berries and local chicken when I first noticed it. I saw this globe with green tentacles cut short and people passing right over it reaching for cucumbers that were perfect for dill pickles. I lived on a college campus with research farms – who knew what kind of genetic splicing might have found its way to the locals. Or what sort of alien life they had found…
It was cheap, so I bought some. The next week, it was cheap again, so I bought some more. That weird alien vegetable started to be a staple in my kitchen. It was always abundant and affordable at the local farmer’s market, and since the kohlrabi had a flavor similar to jicama or a seedless cucumber, it was easy enough to eat.
Kohlrabi, a member of the same family as cabbage, brussles sprouts and kale, is a vegetable that has become one of my favorites, although I seriously believe that at least part of the reason I love it is its alien appearance. The name is German from words meaning cabbage and radish. A perennial vegetable, it is common at farmers markets because it is easy to grow, but I have had a harder time finding it in traditional grocery stores.
(This is here as proof that I eat vegetables. It might take them looking alien to entice me at first, but I come around eventually…)
- 3 medium kohlrabies (1 2/3 pounds or 750 grams in total)
- 80 grams (1/3 cup) Greek yogurt
- 70 grams (5 tbsp) sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- about 12 sprigs baby watercresss
- salt and white pepper
- Peel the kohlrabies, cut into 2/3-inch dice and put in a large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, mascarpone, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Add a healthy pinch of salt and a generous grind of pepper and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the kohlrabi followed by the fresh and dried mint and half the watercress. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.
- Gently stir and place in a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining watercress.
- Top with the remaining watercress