What's That Vegetable?

What's that vegetable? Raw kohlrabi makes a healthy snack

Nov. 7, 2012 at 1:20 PM ET

Michelle Hainer /
Try raw kohlrabi with hummus for a tasty snack.

Kohlrabi is a vegetable that I often see at the farmers market but I have absolutely no idea what to do with it. It’s certainly pretty, with its deep purple hue, so last week I asked one of the men working at the market how I should prepare it. His answer couldn’t have been easier—or healthier!

But first, let me tell you a little bit about this unusually named produce. Kohlrabi, a German word meaning cabbage turnip, is a cousin to cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower as they are all members of the brassica family. The base of the kohlrabi is bulbous, with stems shooting out from it. It also has edible leafy greens. (Eat them as you would kale or collard greens.) Kohlrabi is high in antioxidants and has a sweet flavor, sort of similar to radishes without the bitterness. The skin (either purple or white) is tough and should be peeled, but kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.

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Which brings me back to the farmer’s advice: he told me to peel and slice the bulb of the kohlrabi thinly and serve it with hummus. Since I have a great recipe for this yummy dip, I decided to give this a try. Raw kohlrabi is crispy (almost like a chip with much less fat) and its sweetness is a welcome compliment to the garlicky hummus. Delightful!

Homemade Hummus

  • 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained, with juice reserved
  • 1/4 cup of chickpea juice
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (the juice of one fresh lemon)
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (I added more tahini to taste) 

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender for three minutes or until creamy.

Get more tips and recipes for seasonal eats at Made By Michelle.

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