This curious member of the Brassica genus and the Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae) family dates back to 1554 in Italy, according to edible plant historian E. Lewis Sturtevant. Its name is a combination of the German words for cabbage and turnip. Despite its long history, kohlrabi has never quite caught on in the United States. On the other hand, northern Europeans have long appreciated this vegetable. Kohlrabi is popular in Japan, China and Southeast Asia.
Growing Kohlrabi: The Forgotten Vegetable
Kohlrabi is crisp, crunchy, cruciferous and full of vitamins and powerful anti-cancer capabilities. If you are curious enough to grow it in your garden this year then you should put up some kohlrabi pickles.
3 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into sticks and parboiled for 3 minutes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
3 large sprigs fresh dill
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
Combine kohlrabi and carrots; pack into 1-quart glass jar along with garlic, bay leaf and fresh dill.
In saucepan, combine pickling mixture ingredients and heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and sugar is dissolved.
Pour boiling mixture over kohlrabi and carrots, filling jar completely. Place lid on jar and allow to cool completely at room temperature. When cool, refrigerate for 3 to 4 days to let flavors blend before using. Yields 1 quart.