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And Don’t Forget About Kohlrabi

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And don’t forget about many delights of Kohlrabi. This is one of the tastiest veggies on this or any other planet! Try it sauteed in olive oil with tarragon and shallots, or slice it raw and toss it into salad.

Take my word for it: You’ll be an instant kohlrabi convert! Kohlrabi has the mildest and best flavor (resembling mild white turnips) when small. Unfortunately, many gardeners allow kohlrabi to grow too large before harvesting it.

Large, older kohlrabi is tough and woody and it may have an off-flavor…

And, If you don’t care for the taste or texture of kohlrabi, it’s because you’ve only tasted a crop that’s spent too much time growing up. The secret to great-tasting kohlrabi is rocket-fast growth – it should go from sowing to harvest in about 8 weeks.

Like its cabbage-family cousins, kohlrabi prefers cool weather. But unlike those fussbudgets, it will still do its work when the mercury rises. All it asks for is plenty of water to quench its healthy thirst. Kohlrabi doesn’t mind being transplanted, but it grows so fast that there’s no advantage to starting seeds indoors or buying transplants.

Kohlrabi likes a home that gets a lot of sun and has soil that drains well but retains moisture. The pH of its dreams is 6.3 to 6.8.

Of kohlrabi’s two varieties the purple globe is sweeter and tastier than the apple-green. Both have a pale green, almost ivory colored, flesh inside. While the entire vegetable is edible raw or cooked, the small, young kohlrabi, about 1 1/2″ to 2″ in diameter, is ideal for its flavor and texture.My favorite giant-kohlrabi variety is “Superschmelz”. It’s a new variety from Oregon with bulbs that regularly reach 8 to 10 inches in diameter. And (this is the best part) even at that size, they stay sweet and tender.

Young kohlrabi leaves make great eating raw or steamed. I clip them all season long, until it’s time to harvest the stems. I pick the stems when they’re about the size of a golf ball. When they grow bigger than that, they get tough and bitter; all they’re good for then is the compost pile.

If your bulbs are reaching good-eating size faster than you can keep up with them, don’t worry: Just clip them off the stems, bury them deep in the soil, and cover them with hay or straw. They’ll stay crisp and fresh well into winter.

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