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Vegetable Medley Stir-Fry, with Baby Turnips, Kohlrabi, Carrots and Onions

Vegetable Medley Stir-Fry, with Baby Turnips, Kohlrabi, Carrots and Onions
  

Today we have more tender fresh organic goodness from our farm share. The box this week included a bag of mesclun greens, sugar snap peas, a bunch of purple kohlrabi, a bunch of savory, more garlic scapes and a bunch of tender young kale.  One of my favorite everyday meals, especially with bounty like this, is a nice medley of stir-fried or steamed vegetables, so I knew what to do when I got my share home.

By the way, in case you wonder why local organic produce can be pricey, remember: no poisons on your food means someone has to weed the fields! The farmer who I get my produce from explained that they do have a mechanical weeding device for some crops that can be planted in machine-friendly configurations, but that when the ground is mucky, the way it has been in the past weeks, that doesn't work so well. She pointed out that it's particularly disheartening to see when you've finished a field that the side you started on is covered with weeds again! So, if you love the product of your local farms, be sure to thank your local farmworkers for all the backbreaking labor which makes it possible to put healthy delicious food on your table!

Kohlrabi_1Also, a word about kohlrabi, since a lot of people are unfamiliar with this vegetable. It's one of my favorites, with flesh a lot like a peeled broccoli stalks, one of my other all-time favorites. (If that doesn't make sense to you, based on your personal experience with broccoli stalks, you have a pleasant surprise coming: see my Steamed Broccoli post to find out how to join the cognoscenti who search through the broccoli pile at the supermarket for the bunch  with the thickest stalks!) The Wikipedia entry on kohlrabi tells us the basics:

Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage which has been selected for its swollen, nearly spherical, Sputnik-like shape. The name comes from the German kohlrabi (turnip), because the swollen stem resembles the latter. Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth, its origin in nature is the wild mustard plant.

The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet. Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do fall-grown kohlrabi much over perhaps 10 cm in size; the Gigante cultivar can achieve great size while remaining of good eating quality.

My kohlrabi were, as promised, "crisp and juicy as an apple." They can be peeled and sliced raw into a salad for a crisp addition, and eaten this way they frequently have a nice sharp radishy bite, as mine did this week. Also, especially with tender young kohlrabi, the green tops can be cooked as well (see the recipe after the jump).

Vegetable Medley Stir-Fry, with Baby Turnips, Kohlrabi, Carrots and Onions

6 bulbs young kohlrabi, with their greens
6 baby white turnips, with their greens
3 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 medium red onion, cut in 1/2" dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 garlic scapes, cut in 1-1/2" pieces
2 T savory, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt, hot sauce
olive oil

Peel the kolrabi, cut in half and then slice the halves. Wash the tops and rip out and discard the stems.

Wash the turnips and their tops. Cut the turnips in quarters. Cut the carrots irregularly into pieces of a similar size.

Cut the turnip and kolrabi greens roughly into 1-1/2" pieces.

Separately blanche the carrots, turnips and kohlrabi for about 2 minutes each. (Use the same pot of salted water for each, fishing the vegetables out with a slotted spoon or medium sieve.)

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a heavy sauté pan and sear the garlic scapes until they start to brown slightly. Add the garlic cloves and toss for a few seconds and then add the greens. Toss continually for a few minutes with tongs until the greens start to wilt and add the blanched vegetables. Toss a few more minutes to warm everything and then remove from heat. Add the savory and the vinegar and season to taste with salt and hot sauce. Toss once more and turn into a warmed serving plate.

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Comments

You are right! Stephen, I've never seen this vegetable before. Looks real trendy, purple and green just like one of the latest color addition to the Milan catwalk :D

Maine and Minnesota must be on the same agricultural calendar. I picked up ALL of these (plus beets, cauliflower, broccoli) at the farmers market in St Paul yesterday ...

Thanks for the reminder re weeding, so often we only see food in its final form on the plate, it's easy to forget that it took more than 'cooking' to create its delicious presence ...

That looks amazing...

I look forward to seeing pictures of your CSA farm, Stephen. Pretty please?

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