Kohlrabi just isn’t that funny, no one writes limericks about or tosses out a few bon mots..except maybe macrobiotic people (are there still macrobiotic people? Have they converted to raw foodisms?). I’m sure the folks in the Portlandia writing room could come up with a few funnies.And really how many macrobitoic funny people are there…I could be wrong, they could be funny, I know they are definitely farty.
Well a fart joke is a fart joke is a fart joke, and 9 times out of 10 its just funny to say fart.
So basically Kohlrabi, a brassica, which can give you gas can also be quite delicious. It is rather the bane of the CSA … it’s not as exciting as say a luscious basket of heirloom tomatoes or a big shiny eggplant. In fact I will admit that this is the first time I have ever cooked a kohlrabi… I always look at them like wow those are pretty but maybe not something I really need to eat. Well now I have one in my house a little purple guy…begging to be eaten. The new bunch of veggies arrive tonight, and my goal is a produce empty fridge by Saturday AM (not counting things like onions, potatoes, garlic, carrots, celery etc..)
And it’s Friday afternoon and My husband is coming home for lunch and we’re out of lunch stuff, and there are no leftovers to be had. So what to do…
My mind went right to latkes because latkes are delicious… and a Kohlrabi latke is not so different from the Vegetable Cutlets of my Grandma’s generation. The Vegetable Cutlet, similar to the Kishke was a staple of the immigrant Kitchen, they are both cheap to make, since they rely on odds and ends, bits and pieces. Kishke is not quite as healthy as a Vegetable Cutlet, but back then they though more about getting enough calories than restricting them.
A Kishke, by the way, is sort of a poor man’s sausage, Onions , Celery, Garlic & Carrots are caramelized in Schmaltz (aka chicken fat) then mixed with Challah crumbs and more Schmaltz, stuffed in sausage casing, poached them generally sliced and fried in a pan. Aside from straight up Schmaltz, Grebenes and Onions on Rye it is a chicken fat lovers paradise. Not for the faint of heart or god forbid those who have angina, kenehorah, a kishke can kill, a vegetable cutlet not so much.
Vegetable cutlets, a dairy meal of old, usually served with enormous dollops of sour cream. Sour cream was a food group back then, I remember my Poppa Willy eating a bowl of sour cream with bananas, he also loved herring in sour cream, and my grandmother’s sauerkraut soup so go figure…no one liked the sauerkraut soup.
My modern version of the Vegetable Cutlet is now Kohlrabi Latkes. This recipe can be doubles & tripled, they freeze beautifully, you can make tiny ones to serve as snacketizers…you can dress them however you like. I am opting for Greek Yoghurt & Dill, you could so sour cream or sour cream and bit of smoked trout to be fancy.
You could slip some feta cheese in with the vegetables, you can also switch then up,swap regular potatoes for sweet potatoes, Kohlrabi for carrots, you can add carrots, you can also add broccoli stems. Think of this as a template.
- 1/2 cup Plain Bread Crumbs or Matzoh Meal
- 1/4 Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 Eggs
- Generous Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Kohlrabi
- 1 Medium size onion
- 1 Russet, Idaho or Kennebec Potato
- Canola Oil for Frying
- Put first 5 ingredients in a bowl
- Grate Kohlrabi, give it a good squeeze to get out all the extra liquid, add dry Kohlrabi to the bowl
- Grate Onion directly into the bowl
- Grate potatoes in to a bowl of cold water. Squeeze well & add to bowl with the other ingredients (this all seems fussy I know, you can also grate them all with the grate attachment of the food processor, but you still need to squeeze dry the Kohlrabi & the potatoes, I grate the potatoes the water to keep them from turning black just in case I get distracted and have to walk away or something, which happens my life is chaos)
- Mix everything together
- Heat oil in a frying pan, you want enough oil so there is like 1/8 of an inch of oil in the bottom, we are not deep frying we are pan frying.
- When the oil is hot enough (test a tiny bit of latke, if the oil bubbles then it is ready)Depending on the size of your pan, place 3 or 4 scoops ( about a 1/4 cup or so… the size of regular McDonald’s burger patty\
- Fry until brown on one side then flip and brown on the other
- Place finish latkes on a sheet pan with parchment paper and keep warm in oven if eating immediately, or freeze on the pan then transfer to a baggie.