Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 2: Kohlrabi, Radishes, and Lots More Greens

The first week of the season went as smoothly as could be expected, and our workshare members Audrey and Peg are largely to thank for that. If any members out there know Audrey or Peg, be sure to show them some gratitude. They're doing a big chunk of the work harvesting your CSA goodies.

The week 2 share will look similar to week 1. Members will receive a variety of greens along with a few more substantial early season items that compliment the greens in the kitchen.

For week 2 members can expect: Head Lettuce, either Tom thumb (a second planting that is holding better than the first) or Prizehead; French Breakfast Radishes; Kale; Kohlrabi; Mizuna; Braising Mix; Sorrel; and Spicy Salad Mix (arugula and mustard greens).

There are three items this week that members didn't see last week: Radishes, Kale, and Kohlrabi. The radishes and kale should be pretty straightforward for both new and returning members. Remember to remove the tops (and eat them!) from the radishes before storing the roots in the fridge so they will hold longer.

The winterbor kale looks gorgeous right now.

Winterbor kale flanked by late season kohlrabi to the left
and rutabaga to the right.
Members who made it to the last workday and helped spread mulch can be proud. The mulch is working its miracle. For those that didn't make it to the workday, we mulched the kale this year with a mix of old hay and fish scraps from Peterson's Fish Market that we put together last spring.

We built a few layers of hay and fish, then left it to rot for about a year. The result was a nitrogen rich mulch that holds in moisture as it slowly releases nutrients to the heavy feeding kale. The kale loves it and so do we. We're hoping to find time to make an even bigger batch this year.

Kohlrabi might be new to some of the new members.

Lovely purple kolibri kohlrabi, flourishing in the hoophouse.
Kohlrabi is a mild member of the cabbage family that is grown for it's fleshy stem. I'm never really sure what to call kohlrabi as it isn't actually a bulb or a root and kohlrabi stem sounds odd. So I usually just refer to them as kohlrabis. They taste like sweet broccoli stems. I find that the kolibri variety going out this week even has a hint of a fruity flavor to it. The leaves can and should be eaten, like tender kale. The skin is a little tough and should be peeled before you use the kohlrabi.

I prefer to eat kohlrabi raw. Sliced and eaten plain it's great. It's even better with a simple dressing of lime juice and honey. Below you will find a recipe for a substantial kohlrabi salad featuring the leaves and the stem.

Kohlrabi and Chickpea Salad

This recipe makes about eight cups of salad, enough to serve as dinner at our house. If you enjoy the flavors, a nearly identical salad can be made using kale leaves in place of the kohlrabi.

  • 2 16 ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 medium kohlrabi
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 bunch (approximately 20 stems) sorrel
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic (if you have any scapes still, this is a good use for them) minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Place the drained rinsed chickpeas in a large bowl. Chop the kohlrabi leaves into bite sized pieces. Peel the kohlrabi and dice into small pieces, about the same size as the chickpeas. Add the chopped kohlrabi and leaves to the bowl with the chickpeas.

Slice the radishes thinly and add them to the chickpeas and kohlrabi.

Remove the stems from the sorrel and chop or tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. Add the sorrel to the salad bowl. Toss to combine all of the vegetables and chickpeas.

Stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin seed, and salt (you may want more or less salt, depending on how salty your chickpeas are). Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to thoroughly coat the salad with dressing. This salad can be prepared up to a day ahead of time. The kohlrabi leaves and sorrel will soften and the flavors will meld as it sits.


  1. Thank you so much for the recipe! We will definitely try it. Kohlorabi is also good diced up with potatoes, onions and carrots in pasties or meat pie! Much like a mild cooked turnip!

    1. Absolutely! We are also growing a storage kohlrabi that should be ready for the end of the season. I usually use those cooked, but these little purple kolibri taste so good raw they never seem to make it to the stove :)

  2. This was delicious! The sorrel is so flavorful and I agree that the kohlrabi is very tasty. I love using your recipes. Thanks!