An untrimmed kohlrabi is a strange vegetable to behold: the bulbous stem's sleek, smooth roundness is marred by long, slender, leafy stalks sticking out at odd angles. But by the time the vegetable makes it to the supermarket, most - if not all - of the stalks have been removed.
Most kohlrabies we see in markets are pale green, although there are purple varieties (the purple is only on the exterior of the vegetable; the interior is off-white or pale green).
Choose small- to medium-sized kohlrabies; the larger ones can be tough. Pick specimens that feel dense and heavy for their size, without any cracks. The vegetable - at least the larger ones - has a fibrous exterior that needs to be peeled away before getting to the mildly crisp flesh. The flavour is similar to that of broccoli stems. Although I've never seen the vegetable sold with its leaves, they're said to be edible, and can be prepared as you would spinach.
Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked. When raw, the vegetable can be cut into thick batons and served as part of a crudit? platter with dips; made into a pickle with vinegar, salt, sugar and spices; or finely julienned or shredded and used in salads.
Kohlrabi makes a light, delicately flavoured vegetable puree. Boil it in lightly salted water until tender then mash until smooth and mix with a little butter and seasonings. Kohlrabi also makes for a delicious soup when simmered in chicken broth then pur?ed with cream.