Sunday, April 11, 2021

Stir-Fried Kohlrabi and Peppers

Closeup of Stir Fried Kohlrabi
Recipe Adapted from Bergy

When I started Seasonal Eating in 2011, I contacted Bergy, food photography pioneer at Food.com for advice on kohlrabi. Back in 2001, no one considered food photography as art or craft. But at age 70+, Bergy inspired a new movement with her photographs of homestyle foods she cooked herself. Her food photo styling has become the industry standard, both in in print and online. Plus, her recipes rock! This kohlrabi recipe is no longer at Food.com, and is worth revisiting and republishing.

With a Dollop of Thick Balsamic
Yes, I know that peppers are out of season. However, we got red, yellow, and orange bells in our food share recently. Bergy used banana peppers. Any sweet peppers, particularly in combination, will do the seasoning trick. Previously I’ve used a combination of sweet red peppers and poblanos, with padrones substituting for the jalapenos.

Just leeks, sweet peppers, and jalapenos flavor this straightforward dish. I added some garlic to enhance the mix, and also came up with the balsamic vinegar topping idea. In addition, I par-steamed (akin to parboiling) the kohlrabi to soften it more. If you prefer it raw-ish (similar to raw turnip IMO, and not my thing), you can skip this step.

Plate of stir-fried kohlrabi
With Assorted Sweet Peppers
Note that this recipe will serve a crowd. This is based on the 2 bunches of kohlrabi I got in the share (6 bulbs total). Cut the recipe in half for a single kohlrabi bunch, and adjust the stir-fry time when you add the kohlrabi: from 7 minutes down to 4 – 5. Leftovers taste fantastic, and we ate them for several days, lightly nuked and drizzled with thick balsamic, to accompany a variety of less colorful lunch and dinner items, like burgers and baked chicken.

Enjoy this recipe if you happen by kohlrabi, whether by choice or circumstance. The combination of kohlrabi and peppers is simple, colorful, and effective.

kohlrabi, leeks, jalapenos, red and yellow bell peppers
Just a Few Basic Ingredients
Stir Fried Kohlrabi and Peppers
Yield ~16 cups

  • 6 medium kohlrabi
  • 2 – 3 large leeks
  • 1 large red bell pepper*
  • 1 large orange bell pepper*
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper*
  • 2 – 4 jalapenos
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp. peanut oil
  • Salt and Pepper, for serving
  • Thick balsamic vinegar, for serving

Peel kohlrabi, and cut into ½ inch pieces. You will have about 6 cups. Place kohlrabi in steamer, bring to boil and steam ~5 minutes, until parboiled (parsteamed?). Rinse under cool water to chill, and spread out on clean kitchen towel to dry and cool.

Chop roots off leeks and cut in half lengthwise. Clean thoroughly. Slice into approximately 3/8 inch pieces. You will have about 3 cups.

Chop bell peppers into ¾ inch pieces. You will have 5 – 6 cups of mixed peppers.

Mince jalapenos and garlic. Use as many seeds as you like to adjust the heat to your liking.

Dry off the kohlrabi and peppers with a kitchen towel or paper towels. This keeps the stir fry from getting soggy.

Heat peanut oil in large skillet over high heat. Add leeks and stir-fry for 1 minute, tossing and stirring up leeks from bottom of pan constantly. Add minced jalapeno and garlic, continue stir frying 30 seconds, or till fragrant. Add peppers, and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Add the prepared kohlrabi, and stir-fry for 6 – 7 minutes, or till kohlrabi is tender but not squishy. (Less time if you have less kohlrabi).

Remove immediately from hot skillet to large serving bowl.

Serve with salt, pepper, and thick balsamic vinegar to sprinkle/drizzle on as desired.

* Original recipe calls for banana peppers, of which you’ll need 6 – 8. Use any variety of peppers you like to yield 5 – 6 cups chopped.

Containers of Prepped ingredients
Steam Kohlrabi and Prepare All Stir-Fry Ingredients 
Stir frying leeks
Stir Fry Leeks First
Red and Yellow Bell Pepper with Stir fried Leeks
Follow Garlic and Jalapenos with Sweet Peppers
Colorful mix of bell peppers, leeks, jalapenos
Stir-Fry 1 Minute
Completed Stir fry with Kohlrabi, red and yellow bells, leeks, garlic, jalapeno
Add Kohlrabi and Stir-Fry till Tender-Crisp

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