Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pickled Kohlrabi

The theme of the day is 'farm day'. Farm day because the 'veg of the hour' is kohlrabi from our CSA. Farm day because I'm using it in a recipe from one of my new favorite sites: Farm Folly. And farm day because we are going on a field trip! 

I have been a wee bit lazy with our 'Adventure Wednesday' adventures so I'm turning this week's adventure into Adventure Thursday. And a challenge. A challenge to see how many times I can fit the word 'adventure' into one paragraph.

This morning we are heading to the country to visit Terra Verde, our CSA garden. I have been itching to take Noodle Nose (and myself!) out there because he is so intrigued by our magical CSA.

I'm pretty sure he thinks our veggies fall from the sky and that 'CSA' simply stands for 'giant basket of veg that falls from the sky'. And yes, though this is partially true, I thought it would be an interesting educational lesson for him to see the hard work and dedication it takes to produce the magical veg that falls from the sky into our basket.

So continuing with our theme of the day, last week when I picked up our CSA I was greeted by two kohlrabi. Two kohlrabi as big as my head. Each. And I'm not exaggerating.

Now, in my opinion, kohlrabi isn't the most 'versatile' vegetable, even in normal person size. It is a lovely veg though. Before now I haven't had much experience with it, so when greeted by two kohlrabi as big as my head, what did I do? I pickled it.

On its own I would describe kohlrabi as tasting like a watered down radish. It is actually quite lovely simply raw, as I learned whilst cutting it into spears to pickle. It's crisp, crunchy and light with a slightly peppery flavor.

It would be lovely diced up in a salad or, as Amy from Terra Verde suggested, shredded then pickled and added to a salad or slaw. Play around. It's actually a pretty delicious little veg. Not to mention just plain neat looking.

So upon deciding I wanted to pickle it, I referred to my friend Google, who introduced me to a new site that I am loving: Farm Folly. When you have a chance, check it out, it's just fun and packed with great info. She used a recipe from The Joy of Pickling when it came to her kohlrabi. It was simple enough so I went with that. Except I changed it just a bit.

The pickled version of this crunchy little veg is just fun. Tangy, garlicky, gingery, delicious. And slightly addicting. Just yesterday I almost finished off the jar.

I am looking forward to trying the shredded, pickled version. And by the way, do you have any good kohlrabi suggestions? If so, comment! I'd love to give them a try.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs kohlrabi, peeled and cut into spears
2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 lemon, 'zested' in strips
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
6 thin ginger slices
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Pack kohlrabi spears upright in jar(s).

In a pot, combine remaining ingredients: rice wine vinegar, water, garlic, lemon zest strips, sugar, black pepper corn, ginger and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil then turn off stove.

Pour liquid into jars (divide equally if you have two jars, as I did). Top jars off with more water, if needed.

Cover jars, let cool then store in refrigerator.

Kohlrabi will be ready in 2-3 days and will last for up to 3 weeks.

By itself it makes a fantastic, filling and low calorie crunchy snack. You could also cut it up and add it to a salad. Cool, tangy, slightly spicy and fully addicting.


Oh, and I'll tell you all about our farm visit too!

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