Kohlrabi was all new to me until I met Bill’s mother and tasted her great kohlrabi dish years ago.
Kohlrabi, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a German turnip. The word comes from the German “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” meaning turnip. You would think it is a root vegetable like a turnip but, is in fact a tightly packed version of its cousin, cabbage. As you can see in the photo, it has a bulbous shape which is caused by the swelling of plant’s stem near the ground. Some people think it tastes like broccoli, I think it tastes more like a mild turnip.
Many people in the
Midwest were raised in largely German communities who grew up growing and eating kohlrabi much like an apple. has titled itself “Kohlrabi Capital of the World” and even had a kohlrabi festival but such enthusiasm has declined in recent years. Hamburg Township, Michigan
This is an excellent recipe for using kohlrabi whose taste complements yellow wax beans, carrots and onions. After the vegetables have cooked in the water, make a gravy to thicken the mixture and there you have an excellent summer time side dish!
Kohlrabi and Yellow Wax Beans with Carrots
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, reserve bacon grease
2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled, cut into large dice
2 pounds yellow wax beans, trimmed and snapped
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large white onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fry bacon until crisp, reserve bacon fat. Set aside.
Place all vegetables into a dutch oven or large pan.
Fill with water to top of vegetables.
Add about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease to mixture.
Keep at a low boil until vegetables are fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Make a flour and water paste, approximately ½ cup water and 3-4 tablespoons flour. Stir or shake until flour is a creamy paste.
Push some vegetables in the pan to one side.
Add flour paste while stirring.
It’s just like making gravy but, this should be fairly thick and hold its own on a plate, not soupy. If it’s not thick enough, add more flour mixture.
Add crumbled bacon and stir gently.
I love this ~ it’s one of my favorite summer time dishes!