Garden kohlrabi risotto

It seems like forever ago when Dustin was planting kohlrabi seeds.  The kohlrabi is a german turnip, but I had always thought it was an asian vegetable. My mom has cooked the peculiar-looking bulb in stews and stir fries. Apparently it can be quite tasty in a salad or a coleslaw. or "Kohl"slaw. haha.

Whenever Dustin is skeptical about a vegetable (which was often the case when we got our mystery produce in our CSA box) he suggests a risotto. "Cut it up in really tiny pieces and make a risotto."  We've done this with squash, kale, even beets. Always with success. It's a really great way to ease the flavour of any vegetable into a creamy, starchy rice.

Our garden is also overflowing with vibrant red cherry and roma tomatoes, so I decided to do a tomato risotto with basil, and substitute the celery for a double dose of finely diced kohlrabi.

To prep the kohlrabi, I peeled off the outer layer, much like you would a brocolli stem, and then finely sliced to matchsticks before making an even finer dice.

I cooked the kohlrabi, onions, and garlic a little longer at the beginning, ensuring the kohlrabi was nice and tender. Then I continued with a usual risotto recipe adding the tomatoes in the middle, and the basil and parmesan at the very end.

In a recent episode of Top Chef, Tom Clicchio said that risotto should "fall" rather than keep its shape after being scooped onto a plate. My risotto tends to stay in a mound, so this time I made it a little soupier.  I don't think the consistency changed the experience; it eventually thickened anyway, so I may not bother next time.

The kohlrabi flavour was deliciously subtle. Similar to when you add a couple parsnips to a stew. There's an added depth to the dish that you can't get from herbs and seasoning. The kohlrabi holds its shape and texture quite well; there's still a bite to it that pairs really well with the al dente rice.

I guess my husband was right (again) and a kohrabi risotto is a wonderful way to eat yet another strange vegetable.

Mrs. Niles and Juanita  – (August 19, 2011 at 6:25 AM)  

We've had Kohlrabi's around the house for as long as I can remember. Cool idea about the risotto. Would have never thought to actually cook with the Kohlrabi's since we always ate them raw!

OneCraftyFox  – (August 27, 2011 at 8:11 PM)  

I love kohrabi and never would have thought to put it in a risotto. Hope you are doing well, Kelly.

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