Cabbage gone awry?

So you’re wandering thru the farmers market and come across this, this thing that kinda resembles a satellite, could be a cabbage if, well, it weren’t looking like the leaves and their bulb hadn’t been separated at birth, could it be a turnip?  No.  This my friend’s is kohlrabi.  And thinking it was some mutant cabbage, you weren’t far off, as it is indeed a member of the same family. And like it’s cousin cabbage, lots of vitamin C, fiber and a bit of protein.

Now don’t leave the market without taking one home.  As a youngster I was encouraged to give this biennial a try (thank you Wendy!).  Can’t remember if I was resistant at first, but probably can’t remember cuz I was hooked from the get go.  And it doesn’t take alot of prepping, or cooking to make that decision to taking that first bite: just peel, slice, and taste.  Not bad right?  Nice and crisp with a bit of juice.  And the taste?  A milder, perhaps sweeter, well if I could put all these together: cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli stem, and turnip.

I have come across a number of recipes that involve either steaming, sauteing, roasting, or pureeing but I gotta tell ya, go raw.  Add slices to a crudite platter, make a remoulade, or grate into a salad or slaw.  Now speaking of slaw, I think I have found my new favorite use for Kohlrabi: swap out cabbage as your fish or veggie taco topper and replace with some julienned kohlrabi, dressed with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. What I can’t believe is, why didn’t I think of this sooner?!?

A steamy wander thru the Andersonville Farmers Market on Wednesday afternoon, I knew I did not want to cook, at least indoors, and after a holiday weekend of brat and burger overload I knew the meal in order was to be veggie based.  Already having snagged the kohlrabi at the Glenwood Sunday Market (in Rogers Park), I picked up some gorgeous portabella mushrooms from the River Valley stand and from there was inspired to make portabella tacos with kolhrabi.  And yes if you must know they got a major thumbs up ;)

Mo’s Portabella Kohlrabi Tacos

2-4 (depending on size) Portabella mushroom caps
2 Poblano peppers, seeded and cut in half
2-3 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 medium kohlrabi head, peeled, julienned and tossed with lemon and salt (to taste)
1 avocado sliced
cilantro sprigs (and amount is up to you, how much do you like on your taco?)
1 package of corn tortillas
limes quartered (again number depends on your taste)
optional garnishes: your fav salsa and mexican crema

Mix together olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the portabellas and peppers.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile prep your grill for grilling.  Wrap tortillas in foil.  When grill is ready, place foil wrapped tortillas on the edge of grill so they can get all nice and warm and steamy.  Place shrooms and peppers on grill.  The shrooms will cook pretty quick, just get some nice grill marks on each side.  The peppers?go ahead and let the skins get nice and charred.
After removing everything from the grill slice the shrooms and peppers.   Then start building your taco: tortilla, shrooms, peppers, avocado, kohlrabi, cilantro sprig, squeeze of lime, personally I stopped here but feel free to add salsa and crema.  Now whet your appetite for these with a shot of watermelon gazpacho* and….perfect. summer. meal.

*did I get your attention with the watermelon gazpacho?  well, you are just going to have to wait until watermelon season ;)

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