Thursday, June 20, 2013

Living happily & healthily ever after: Alien vegetable lands in Ohio

Guest posting by Katie Arlinghaus 

This past spring my sister’s boyfriend asked my sister to marry him. She said yes and they’re ready to live happily ever after! I am confident that I can say this because I know they love each other and all of that essential business, but also because of the healthy game my to-be brother-in-law is particularly fond of playing.

When I went to visit them earlier this year he would stop at the store on his way back from work or wherever and bring home ridiculous amounts of produce. I’m talking crazy excessive—they have a mini produce section in their tiny London flat kitchen—amount of produce: Pears, raspberries, bell peppers, broccoli, apricots, mushrooms…My sister’s face scrunched to half its normal size as she calculated how we were possibly going to eat all of this before it went bad and where we could store all of it (I promised they’d live happily (healthily) ever after, not that my sister would have wrinkle-free skin)...blackberries, bok choy, radishes, oranges, apples, kale, potatoes, and an alien vegetable.

He pulled a bulbous, light green thing out of the bag, and with an oversized grin on his face he introduced us to his favorite purchase, “…and look what I found! It looks like an alien!”

Kohlrabi with leaves (the leaves are edible, too)
The thing truly did look like an alien head with little alien ear or horn tufts coming out from the top, or bottom, we weren’t really sure. My sister sighed, an indication to me that this was a common affair,

“What is it?”
“Well, I don’t know, but doesn’t it look like an alien?”
“How do you cook it? Do you eat it raw?”
“I don’t know, but look how cool it looks!”
My sister sighed, “What are we going to do? Google alien vegetable?”

So we did.

We googled “alien vegetable,” and turns out, “alien vegetable” is a common way for bloggers to describe kohlrabi, aka my new favorite vegetable. Kind of a cross between a radish or turnip and a water chestnut, kohlrabi (pronounced “cole-rob-E” has a texture similar to a radish, with a cabbage-like flavor. My sister roasted it with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Delish.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, my mom came home from my uncle’s garden, “Look at the new vegetable your uncle grew! It’s called cole-something. He said it adds a nice crunch to salads and that we could sauté the leaves, like we would greens.”

Turns out, the alien vegetable wasn’t satisfied with its British Invasion and decided to land its spaceship right here in Ohio, and I’m so glad!

Raw, roasted, or sautéed, kohlrabi is a delicious source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Do a quick “alien vegetable” google search and try some today!

What strange vegetables have you tried?

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