Kohlrabi’d My Taste Buds

Welcome back. Strolling through my local grocer the other week, yes strolling AND smiling. I take my sweet time. Some loathe to grocery shop (my mother), some don’t mind it, but I love it! I once thought about opening a business where I grocery shop for people. I very quickly realized, unless I had complete control of where I shopped, what they purchased and how to cook it, I would eventually Chef Ramsay myself out of a job. While strolling and smiling, I noticed a bulbous, green rooted, beet-like vegetable teetering off the produce shelf.
imageI went to tip it upright on the shelf and naturally the entire row of them came bowling down as though I were being video-taped on “good-efforts, failed”. As I put them back up, about 12, still wet from the “random” produce spray (Hey! Guy in the sky with the trigger finger, I am onto you), I noticed right away how heavy they were. I put them at about 2.5 pounds for 3 tied together and approximately 16″ tall to include the leafy greens. I looked up at the sign, Kohlrabi $3.99 a bunch. I placed a bunch in my cart prepared to learn, play, cook, eat and educate.  We have a few local farms who produce kohlrabi, The Long Siding Farm, organic, produces them for their CSA and local farmer’s markets. I know they are just one of several as I have seen kohlrabi at other farmer’s markets in the cities. http://www.localharvest.org or www3.mda.state.mn.us
I did attempt to locate an encyclopedia, say what?! I feel when researching, the internet is not always the answer, some of the best resources are old books and farmers. Not kidding.
I cut off the greens and let the kohlrabi sit in the refrigerator for 3 days. The greens are edible and full of nutritious stuff, but I didn’t eat them this time.
I cut one in half and to my extreme surprise it was very juicy. I could see the tough outer layer and peeled that away and sliced the rest into sticks.image It smelled sweet, root-like, earthy. It tasted of a cross between, a broccoli stem, a raw potato and jicama. Grainy in texture, but, again juicy. I know you have squishy face right now, but try it, bake it with some salt and ancho powder or your favorite spice mixture and fries it is. I also added sweet potato to that mix as I will eat the heck out of some sweet potato fries.
In my stroll through juggling at the store, slicing, tasting, baking and eating the kohlrabi, I like them best baked or in a soup.
The recipe I have below is baked with lot’s of love, kohlrabi ratatouille with mozzarella. imageI made it the evening it decided to snowstorm, April 3rd, 2014. Photo proof shown. For both the dinner and the snow. Enjoy!image

Quick Facts:
1. Introduced to Germany in the late 1950’s after it was developed in Northern Europe by crossing cabbage with white beet or turnip. Hence, the “green rooted, beet-like” quality I first observed. I felt a self win for recognizing this prior to any research.
2. German word, Kohl “cabbage”, Rabi “turnip”. (thank you Wikipedia and foodgeeks.com)
3. Germany provides over 40,000 tons to the world with help from a few other countries.
4. Same species as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussel sprouts
5. They can be white (light green) or purple-ish.

“Kohlrabi Ratatouille – Señorita Tijerina-style”imageimage

Serves 4 or 12

Ingredients (think layers)
2 bulbs kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced into medallions
1 onion, diced
4 mini sweet bell peppers, sliced in half, seeded and stemmed
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1 8oz package fresh mozzarella thinly sliced (or mozzarella you just made at home)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or fresh sauce you made at home)

Method
Pour 1/4 cup of sauce over bottom of 9×13 pan or muffin tin (12)
Begin the layering, kohlrabi, tomato, cheese, pepper, onion, garlic, cheese, kohlrabi
Pour remainder of sauce, 2 cups over top and add remaining cheese
I had leftover carrots in my crisper and I did what I always do, I placed them in the dish
Bake entire contents in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until you want to eat the cheese right off the top, but don’t knowing you will burn your entire face 🙂

Let cool 5 minutes, serve, eat and enjoy!image
If you want to fancy it up a bit you can top with fresh oregano or parsley.

“Whatever it is, I hope you can eat it!”

Best Regards,
Señorita Tijerina
@senoritatijerin

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A reason to get together…Leprechauns.

Okay okay, no leprechauns, but how cute would it be if Irish families had a version of “elf on the shelf”, but with a leprechaun? small_3356693001

Remember when I said my family loves to get together for any reason to eat food? St. Patrick’s Day is one of those reasons. We really only eat corned beef and cabbage around this time, unless we go out for dinner somewhere and they have “the best” Reuben. Anyone have any suggestions in the Twin Cities area? We have tried them all. My mom did make Reuben’s this past summer to support my first attempt and absolute failure to make pumpernickel rye bread. In fact, it could still be on the lawn being used as a gnome house.
I said I would deliver a new twist on an old Irish recipe and so here it is…

Señorita Tijerina

“Whatever it is you are looking for, I hope you can eat it.”

Prosciutto and Irish cheddar soda bread biscuits

Yield: Makes 12 biscuits

Ingredients
½ stick Kerry Gold butter
4 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour + bench flour (extra flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. white pepper
2 cups buttermilk (substitution: 2 cups milk 2 T. lemon, let sit for 5 minutes)
½ cup ¼” diced prosciutto
½ cup Irish cheddar (or your own preference)
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 shallot, diced
(I use the pre-diced package of onion, garlic and shallot from Trader Joe’s)

Method
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Grease muffin tin with Kerry Gold butter.
In a skillet, sauté the diced prosciutto, onion, garlic and shallot, 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool on a paper towel to allow grease to soak up.
Toss cheese in 1/2 tsp. of flour and set aside.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, white pepper and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or in an upright mixer with dough hook.
Gently fold in the sauté mix and cheese.
Place onto a lightly floured surface.
Pat the dough gently into a square shape.
Fold the dough in half several times, bringing the dough in from the outside toward the middle, all the way around. Add a pinch of flour if necessary. Pat into a larger square.  Do not knead the dough.
Cut into 12 squares and shape each into a round disk and place it into the prepared muffin pan.
With a sharp knife, make two large slashes on the top.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until lightly brown, about another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack before serving.image

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/akbuthod/3356693001/”>amy_b</a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;