Recipe Ideas: Kohlrabi and Garlic Scapes

Portrait of a Kolhrabi in Dirt
Photo via Sumana Chatergee

Kohlrabi and garlic scapes are two of the most exotic items in this year's shares so far.  If you're struggling with ideas for how to use them, here's a round-up of some great recipes.

If you've done something that you particularly liked using these two ingredients, please share in the comments!  


Kohlrabi conjures ideas of salads and slaws.  The bulb can be peeled and eaten raw or cooked -- cut into strips, it can be boiled, steamed or roasted. The tops can be used as you would kale. Here are a few ideas other than just tossing kohlrabi into salads:

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are excellent toss-ins for salads and stir fries. If you're using them in a salad, you may want to saute them briefly in butter or oil first, in order to mellow their sharp flavor a bit. Another idea for using scapes is to make a garlic scape pesto. Most recipes for garlic scape pesto substitute scapes for basil and nuts for pine nuts.  Here are two recipes:

Garlic scape pesto is excellent as an accompaniment for meat or fish.  You can also dilute it to make a potent vinaigrette, or even use it as a mix-in for eggs. It can be substituted for regular pesto in just about any recipe. 

Rita's Recipes: kohlrabi, beets, collards/kale, herbs

Recipes from "Cook For Life Balance" by Rita Calvert

Kohlrabi Carrot & Parmesan Gratin
Roasted Beets X 3 -- Beet greens, Stems and Bulb
Garlicky Braised Collards or Kale with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Herbed Grilled Chicken Paillards

Kohlrabi Carrot & Parmesan Gratin

Serves 4

Wedges of Kohlrabi and tender carrots, baked until meltingly tender, are topped with cheese and fresh multigrain bread crumbs for a truly delicious dish that's great with our Herbed Grilled Chicken Paillards.

3 medium bulbs Kohlrabi, washed and peeled
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken stock
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup fresh multigrain bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat the oven to 400°F.

Peel each Kohlrabi bulb and cut in half. Cut the halves into 2 or 3 wedges each. Snuggle the wedges, cut side up, in a baking dish (8x8 inches or the equivalent works well). Pour the stock into the dish. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 min.

Mix together the garlic, olive oil, bread crumbs and cheese.

Uncover and sprinkle the dish with the bread crumb mixture. Continue baking uncovered until the vegetables are tender and the cheese is browned, another 10 minutes.

Roasted Beets X 3
Beet Greens, Stems and Bulb

Serves 2
If you wondering what the X 3 is about, this means that you are separating the 3 parts, root, stem and leaves ands cooking each to optimal flavor. Roasting beets brings out the abundant sweetness. Tender young beets may not even need peeling, but can be scrubbed to remove any rough coating.
3 small to medium beets, scrubbed very well, cut into 1 inch wedges
stems trimmed and sliced
leaves coarsely chopped
natural olive oil spray
Yogurt cheese
fresh green chopped herbs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the beets on a piece of foil spray with olive oil cooking spray, add   salt and pepper and close the foil. Place this on a baking sheet. Bake    for 10 minutes.
Unwrap add stems, spray and season and bake another 5 minutes. Add leaves repeat process and bake 7-8 minutes more.
Serve topped with yogurt cheese and herbs.
Garlicky Braised Kale with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Serves 2
Braising softens kale, which will be a little tough and leathery if undercooked. Unfortunately, kale also loses its bright green color when properly cooked. As a variation, try using the pretty new variety of kale called cavolo nero, or Tuscan kale, in this recipe. Or use young turnip greens. You can also vary this recipe by sautéing onions or bacon with the garlic, or by adding red pepper flakes.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, cut in half, smashed, and peeled
2 Tbs. finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained
7 oz. stemmed kale leaves (from about 1/2 large bunch kale), washed and cut into 1-inch ribbons
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup low-salt chicken stock (canned is ok)
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 ounce crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a 3- to 4-qt. soup pot over medium heat.   Add the garlic and sauté, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 min. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the kale, tossing to coat it   well with the oil. Season with the salt and a few grinds of pepper, and continue stirring until all the kale is wilted. Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce   to a simmer, cover and cook until the kale has softened, about 8 min. Uncover, turn the heat to high, and boil away the remaining liquid, stirring frequently, until the pan is almost dry. Take the pan off the heat. Season with the vinegar and stir to combine. Transfer to a small serving dish or plates. Top with the crumbled goat cheese, if you like.
Herbed Grilled Chicken Paillards

Serves 4
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 to 8 ounces each), trimmed and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed Dragon chilies (1-2)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, flat leaf parsley and other fresh herbs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemon wedges for serving
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil; more for drizzling
Lightly wet a chicken breast with cold water and set it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound it into a broad, flat sheet about 1/4-inch thick (called a paillard), using a meat pounder, the side of a heavy cleaver, or a skillet. Pound the other breasts into paillards the same way and arrange them on a baking sheet.
Generously season each paillard on both sides with salt and pepper and a pinch or two of chile flakes. Sprinkle both sides with the garlic and rosemary. Drizzle both sides with the lemon juice and olive oil and pat into the meat with your fingertips. Refrigerate the paillards for 20 minutes while you prepare the grill.
Heat a gas grill to high or prepare a hot charcoal fire. Brush and oil the grill grate.
Arrange the paillards on the grill grate and grill until cooked and firm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (Use a long, wide spatula to move and turn the paillards.) Transfer the paillards to a platter or plates. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing.