With its strange shape and name, kohlrabi is often overlooked as a vegetable. Until it ends up in your CSA share. Having never prepared this before, I flipped through many cookbooks and searched countless online recipes. Few options sounded interesting. Until someone mentioned Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukin’s puree idea. But it had mushrooms in it. So I tried this more simple preparation and was delighted with the end result. Eat it on its own or pair it, like I did, with squid, another sometimes scary ingredient. Both recipes are simple, quick and delicious.
Sauteed Spicy Squid over Kohlrabi Puree
3 large or 4 small bulbs of kohlrabi with leaves
1/4 cup of 1/2 and 1/2, milk or heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small shallot, thinly diced
1/4 cup of goat or feta cheese, optional
Red pepper, optional
1/2 lb of squid, cleaned
1/8 tsp of ground ginger or grated fresh ginger
2 small ripe tomatoes, diced thickly
1/4 cup of olives, sliced
Fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, basil, lemon basil)
1/4 tsp of minced garlic
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, optional
Rinse the kohlrabi. Chop the leaves. Discard the stems. Peel the kohlrabi bulb if thick or leave whole if very fresh (I left it on). Cut the bulbs into 1/4 inch chunks. Bring a medium size pot of salted water to boil. Add the chunks of kohlrabi and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and place in a food processor. In the meantime, saute the shallot in some olive oil over medium low heat for 2 minutes. Add the leaves and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to the chunks. Puree. Add the cream slowly. Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Mix in the cheese and sprinkle in a couple dashes of red pepper if desired (I like cheese and heat). Can be made ahead and refrigerated. This was even tasty room temperature.
Slice the squid into rings and cut tentacles in half if using. Marinate it in the ginger, oil to coat (preferably lemon oil), fresh herbs, a few dashes of red pepper (if you want heat) and a few squeezes of fresh lemon. Let sit for a few minutes if you have the time. Saute the garlic and chile if you want it spicier in a tiny bit of oil for 1-2 minutes over medium low. Turn the heat up to medium and add the tomatoes and olives. Saute till tomatoes become saucy, then add the squid. Continuing cooking for 1-2 minutes and then reduce the heat to thicken the sauce slightly. When the squid curls, it’s basically done, so don’t overcook it. Serve over the kohlrabi puree, tossed with your favorite pasta or enjoy it alone.