Posted: June 14, 2022 in Uncategorized

I’m reminded of that old saying: “When life gives you kohlrabi that doesn’t form a ball, do something else with it.”

OK, it’s not an old saying. I just made it up. And it doesn’t exactly flow off your tongue. But it turned out to be a good move anyway.

Big, beautiful kohlrabi leaves!

I’ve grown kohlrabi in my garden many times, but this was the first time where the plants did not form that ball at the bottom of the leaves. Checking my gardening books, it seems that extreme temperatures, meaning too hot or too cold in the spring, could cause this. Also, it’s possible the plants were growing too close together, which makes them concentrate their efforts on their leaves, and not the ball.

The way kohlrabi is supposed to grow in my garden!

In any case, it reminded me that we very often don’t utilize the entire plant when we harvest, and there’s nothing in the books that says you can’t eat the leaves of a kohlrabi plant.

If you pick the leaves when the plants are young, they’re tender enough to use in salads. In fact I’ve posted a blog about a “kohl-slaw” recipe that I made with tender young kohlrabi leaves. 

But these plants were mature, with very large, happy leaves. So the answer was to cook them. I decided to treat them as if they were collard greens.

The first that was to harvest, de-stem, wash and trim all the leaves. There was a lot of them! I ended up with a very large bowl full of big, beautiful greens.

I had several chicken carcasses in the freezer from previous roasts, so I threw them in a large pot of water with with onions, carrots, and celery, to make homemade chicken stock. 

Normally when cooking collard greens, you throw in a chunk of salted pork of some kind. But I didn’t have anything like that. I did, however, have a nice slab of beef brisket in my freezer from a previous smoking and grilling session. So I tossed that into the pot. 

After a couple of hours, I removed the brisket from the pot and placed it in a container and put it in the fridge. I would use it later.

I strained the stock, discarding all the veggies and bones, and placed the stock in the fridge as well, for it to cool overnight. 

Once the stock has cooled, it’s easy to remove the fat.

The next day, I could easily scrape away most of the fat that was in the stock. Once I did that, I put the pot back on the stove and brought it to a boil. Meanwhile, I removed the brisket from the fridge and I chopped it up into small pieces, discarding the real fatty pieces that already served their purpose in flavoring the stock earlier.

I added the lean brisket to the pot and then I added my massive bag of cleaned and de-stemmed kohlrabi leaves.

It’s amazing how quickly that massive amount of leaves melts down into almost nothing!

I seasoned the stock with salt and pepper, reduced it to a simmer, placing a lid on the pot, and let it cook for about an hour.

After an hour, the “kohllards” were done! Really simple, but incredibly flavorful, and a great way to use what I thought originally was a failed crop. 


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