Sometimes an obscure vegetable can pop up in your CSA share. Take, for example, the purple kohlrabi.
What does one do with a purple kohlrabi?
My parents once made a deal that if my pop would do the food shopping, my mum would cook anything he brought home for a month. Taking this as a challenge (not a compromise), the old man got more and more creative with what she came home to. On the day she opened the fridge and found an entire octopus, she surrendered, and they’ve been sharing the shopping responsibilities since. Finding a purple kohlrabi felt a lot like finding an octopus.
The best way we’ve found to negotiate the less common is to blindly jump in and first taste it raw, then cooked, then hope to high hell you match it with the proper ingredients. We paired our purple kohlrabi with bok choy and peppers in some olive oil, while making a curry sauce separately. For the curry we sauteed onion, garlic, and scallions. We added some fresh ginger, curry powder, and turmeric. Then covered it in coconut milk and a bit of soy sauce, and simmered. Then we chucked in some tofu, the sauteed vegetables, poured it all over rice, and dinner was concocted.
The kohlrabi reminded us vaguely of turnip, although it had been described to us as tasting like broccoli stalk. Raw it was subtle and crunchy. We found that the longer it cooked, the sweeter and more flavorful it became. The occasional (accidental) crispier kohlrabi slices, ended up being the best part of our curry.
Given the chance, even an octopus can surprise you.