Start planning your shopping for this week's Salem Farmers Market; add kohlrabi and parsnips to your list. While this recipe also uses sunchokes, you can easily swap them out for more kohlrabi or parsnip.
Kohlrabi. I like to shop at Kohls, “kohl” is in kohlrabi, by default I should like it. I remember the name of this vegetable from my youth but I don’t remember eating it. Often mistaken as a root vegetable, kohlrabi has flavors of broccoli and cabbage, yet it’s tender and juicy below its skin. I'm sure I wouldn’t have eaten a vegetable that I'm certain I would have misspelled in a spelling bee.
Speaking of bees. Parsnip. Parsnips have a hint of honey flavor. An underused root vegetable. It’s related to the carrot and has the shape of carrot but doesn’t taste like a carrot. The color is pale yellow, like the soft glow of the sun.
Speaking of the sun. My colleague brought in sunchokes to share. They’re also called Jersusalem artichokes, which was very confusing because it looked nothing like an artichoke. It looked more like what you'd get if you mated ginger and potato. Sunchokes are part of the sunflower family. While we don’t eat the blossoms or the leaves, we do eat what grows underground: the tubers, which are oblong or rounded outgrowth from stems, similar to the potato. Tubers store energy and nutrients for regrowth during the next growing season for its plant.
I tossed the cooking challenge out to friends – how should I cook these? It came down to roasted or mashed. I think roasted or mashed would be great, so I did both. But, if you ever find yourself wondering what to do, roasting works for most everything.
First, I roasted this trifecta of vegetables for lunch. I tossed it on top of mixed greens and added pumpkin seeds for some crunch. With the leftovers, I whipped it with some vegetable broth and EVOO laced with harissa to make a puree for dinner. Sub the harissa with EVOO, tabasco or chile sauce, or even some browned butter.
The pre-pureed vegetables could be easily mixed with grains, such as quinoa, for a heartier salad.
I purchased the kohlrabi and parsnips from Salem’s Farmers Market. The sunchokes were purchased at Wild Harvest. If you don’t have them, don’t worry. Add another parsnip or kohlrabi.
Roasted Kohlrabi, Parsnip and Sunchoke
What you need:
- 1 bulb kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into 1/2” chunks
- 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2" chunks
- 2 sunchokes, peeled and chopped into 1/2” chunks
- 2 tbs EVOO
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
What you do:
- Heat oven to 450°.
- Prepare baking sheet (line with parchment or foil.
- In lg bowl combine all ingredients.
- Mix to coat.
- Pour onto baking sheet in single layer.
- Roast for about 30 min, turning halfway; veggies are done when fork can be easily inserted.
To make the puree:
- After roasting, start adding 1/4 c vegetable broth at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Add a few drops of EVOO or browned butter. If you’d like some heat, add a dash of tabasco or chile sauce, if desired.
- Season with addition salt and pepper, if desired.