Isn’t it fascinating that foods you never dreamed of are out there, just waiting for you to discover them? Neither Alex nor I had ever heard of kohlrabi until a few years ago, when we were browsing the farmer’s market. A kind farmer saw me looking intently at the green and purple vegetables, and he slipped a bulb to for free, “just to see I what I thought of it.” I’m embarrassed to admit the poor kohlrabi turned shriveled before I got the time—or courage—to attempt eating it.
This season, we’re looking to be more diligent about trying this odd-looking little vegetable we’ve seen at the market. We asked the question, “What should I do with this?,” to a few of the farmers at the market. The first answer we heard was to slice the kohlrabi bulb and eat it raw on a salad. We promptly tried it and it turns out, it’s pretty delicious. The crisp slices have a refreshing taste similar to a broccoli stem.
The next time we picked up some kohlrabi, we thought we’d go for something more adventurous. Alex suggested the idea of a fritter, so we developed this recipe together. (After our experience making traditional latkes, we felt ready to up our fritter game.) I admit I was a bit skeptical—fritters can be tough to pull off texture and flavor-wise—and with kohlrabi? However, Alex’s creative risk paid off: the fritters turned out crisp and savory. And even better was the accompanying avocado cream sauce—a sauce made simply of avocado, yogurt, and a bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice, it turned out to be incredibly addictive. We’d recommend using the sauce on any fritter recipe of your choosing.
While we’re on the subject, a few tips on fritters, since they can be notoriously tricky to make at home:
- Fritters are best eaten as soon as possible after frying. If you’re making them for a crowd or entertaining, here’s a tip for keeping them warm and crispy: place a wire baking rack on top of a baking sheet, then place it in a 300F oven. As the fritters come out of the pan, place them onto the wire rack until ready to serve. Using the wire rack makes sure excess oil drips off and that both sides of the fritters stay crispy.
- Excess moisture is the enemy with fritters, so in this recipe we indicate to squeeze out the moisture of the grated veggies prior to frying.
- Frying can be a bit messy, so using a splatter screen can be helpful to avoid spitting oil.
- Grating the vegetables in a food processor with a shredding disk or blade can significantly speed up the process versus grating the vegetables by hand. (It also helps to save knuckles!)
So if you happen upon any odd-looking green or purple vegetables like the picture above at your local farmer’s market, we’d recommend giving them a try. Kohlrabi is becoming more and more popular these days, and is even popping up at mainstream grocery stores. Note that the bulbs above have been de-stemmed; you may also find them at markets with the leaves still intact.
Have you cooked with kohlrabi? What are your best kohlrabi recipes? We’d love any suggestions for preparation methods you love! See below for a few of our favorite kohlrabi recipes.
If you’re an Indy local, check out Indy Winter Farmer’s Market to find kohlrabi during the winter months.
Looking for kohlrabi recipes?
These kohlrabi fritters are one of the most popular recipes on this website. Since we wrote the original post, interest in the green and purple vegetables has soared. Here are a few of our other favorite kohlrabi recipes that venture outside the fritter:
- Beet Hummus with Kohlrabi Sticks This recipe features one of our top ways to eat kohlrabi: as relishes, similar to carrot sticks! They have a refreshing crunch and a nuanced, unique taste. Cut them into rectangles and eat them with your favorite hummus—or maybe this Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip.
- Beet, Kale, and Kohlrabi Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette Another easy idea for kohlrabi recipes is to slice the bulb and use it to top a salad. It brings a subtle flavor and crunchy texture, here played off by the sweetness of the beet and tart grapefruit vinaigrette.
Interest in purple vegetables is high. Why? Purple vegetables contain compounds called anthocyanins. Research suggests that anthocyanins may help protect cells, heal the body, decrease inflammation, and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer. Some of our favorite other purple vegetables: purple cauliflower and purple potatoes.
Did you make this recipe?
If you make these kohlrabi fritters, we’d love to hear how they turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
- 2 kohlrabi
- 1 carrot
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup grapeseed or vegetable oil (enough for ¼-inch depth in a large skillet)
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- ½ lemon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Green onions (for garnish)
- Cut the leaves off the kohlrabi and peel the bulb. Peel 1 carrot. Shred the vegetables in a food processor, or by hand using a grater. Squeeze the shredded vegetables in a tea cloth (or with your hands) to remove moisture, then add to a medium bowl with 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Mix to combine.
- Place 1/2 cup oil in a large skillet (enough for 1/4-inch depth). Heat the oil over medium high heat, then place small patties of the fritter mixture into the oil. Fry on one side until browned, then fry on the other side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- In a small bowl, mix 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, juice from 1/2 lemon, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt to make the avocado cream (or blend the ingredients together in a food processor).
- Serve fritters with avocado cream and sliced green onions.
These fritters are best eaten warm the day of making; they don’t save well. Like anything made with avocado, the avocado cream sauce will become brown after exposure to air. Make sure to cover the surface with plastic wrap when storing.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.