We’re into week 6 of our CSA share, and the veggies are beginning to get really interesting. As the summer progresses, we’ll see fewer leafy greens that might wilt or bolt in the heat, and more hardy produce like kohlrabi, cucumbers and beans. In this week’s box:
- Savoy Cabbage
- Collard greens
- Leafy Endive
- Nancy Head Lettuce
- Red Lettuce
- Yellow wax beans
- Lovage & Oregano
- Radish microgreens
We gave part of the box away, but we did keep the kohlrabi to see what we could do with it. I like it thinly sliced and raw because the texture reminds me of a juicy apple or jicama, and it’s slightly sweet. Raw kohlrabi doesn’t appeal to hubby, who finds it reminds him too much of raw broccoli stems. Not surprising, since it comes from the Brassica oleracea family of vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collard greens and cabbage. Kohlrabi literally means “cabbage turnip” in German. I converted someone to it last week – she was afraid to try it because it looked like “sputnik,” and then she told me it was very tasty.
I also had some black radishes in the fridge from Fisher Farms. I bought them because I thought it would be an interesting challenge to cook with them, and they had been sitting in the crisper for a couple of weeks. They’re about 3 to 4 inches long like a carrot or daikon. An heirloom winter radish, it’s usually eaten in Eastern Europe, diced and mixed with onions and sour cream. A round version that looks like a black Easter Egg radish is enjoyed in Western Europe. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture, but you can get a general idea of them here. Black radishes are best peeled, and they taste VERY peppery and hot. I read that you can make them milder by soaking in salt water before cooking. I tasted a slice raw (I admit, a mistake for me) and it reminded me of horseradish. We couldn’t eat it raw, so I thought, why not? Throw the radishes and the kohlrabi together in a parmesan bake.
Get on down to the farmers’ market this weekend and see what you can find for your next veggie adventure!
Recipe: Kohlrabi & Black Radish Parmesan Bake
Makes 4 to 6 portions
Beware – the taste of the black radish is not for the faint-hearted. It’s pretty peppery and can be bitter. If you enjoy milder tastes, use fewer Black Radishes or substitute turnips or Easter Egg radishes for the Black Radishes.
- 1 bunch Black Radishes (about 5)
- 1 Kohlrabi bulb, about the size of a large apple or softball, or 2 small bulbs (stems and leaves removed)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 1/3 C parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
Peel the black layer off the radishes if desired. Slice the radishes into thin discs and place in a large bowl. (At this point you can choose to soak the radishes in salt water to mellow their flavor and then rinse and drain before proceeding.)
Prepare the kohlrabi: When using a kohlrabi bulb that’s bigger than about 2 inches in diameter, it’s ideal to peel the outer layer with a knife because it can get woody. I cut the bottom to make a sturdy flat surface and then start cutting around the whole vegetable. After it’s peeled, I cut it in half and then cut thin slices.
Add kohlrabi to the radish bowl, along with the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Toss well. Bake coated vegetables in the pan at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the vegetables. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and starts to brown. Serve warm.