Y’all know that I try to observe Meatless Monday, and while I usually get at least one vegetarian meal in a week, it’s rarely on Mondays. Such was the case last night.
This meal came together on the stove ridiculously quick, but there’s quite a backstory. The meal was interresting, (I think, anyway. Maybe I’m just a vegetable nerd, though.) because I used kohlrabi greens. I don’t think I’ve even ever eaten kohlrabi. I know what it is, but I just never had a reason to use it or try it.
I planned on making a recipe for Orrecheitte with Chard from my Fresh from the Farmers Market cookbook, for my Meatless Monday meal this week. But when I went to the store, the only orrechiette I could find was in the specialty foods section, and it was three times the price of humble store-brand mini shells. And, when it came time to place my bi-weekly order at the Monroe Farm Market, I didn’t log on when ordering opened. Instead, I waited about 45 minutes, and all the chard and kale was sold out. I was lucky there were kohlrabi greens left. They probably were left because customers were like “Whaaa? What am I supposed to do with those???” just like I was. So, Orrechiette and Chard turned into Kohlrabi Greens and mini shells.
And, last week, when it came time to deliver the orders from the market, Monroe County got somewhere around 16 inches of snow. So delivery was delayed almost a week. Which put a kink in the delivery of some of the products. Greens that were picked the morning of the regular scheduled delivery languished in the back of a truck or someplace that allowed them to partially freeze. Anyway, I got my greens when I picked up my order, but the nice peeps at Monroe Farm Market didn’t charge me for them because they were damaged by being a little frozen. No worries, I was planning to wilt them anyway.
I had a hair dresser appointment yesterday evening at a weird time: 6 pm. Enough time for me to go home and changes clothes, but probably not enough time to cook, and I didn’t want to wait until 7:30ish when I got home to start cooking. I needed something super fast. And I couldn’t find my Kindle, which had the cookbook on it with the recipe I needed. Here’s why these farmers at Monroe Farm Market are so awesome–there was a recipe neatly folded up and placed in a zip lock baggie with my greens. It was for wilted kohlrabi greens with soy sauce and sesame oil.
And it gave me an idea–How about a stir fry with the greens and some noodles? Once I tasted a little piece of the greens raw, I knew they were destined for an Asian dish rather than the Italian dish I had planned. I threw this together in literally 20 minutes, start to finish. So it’s perfect for a busy weeknight when you need dinner on plates STAT.
Stir-fry of Kohlrabi Greens and Noodles (serves 2)
1/4 lb of kohlrabi greens*, washed and with the stems cut out
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 a red onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tb coconut oil (or any neutral oil suitable for stir-frying)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tb cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup cold water
4 oz. soba noodles (I used angel hair because I didn’t have any other kind)
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 tb sesame oil
1 tb sesame seeds
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the kohlrabi greens and boil about 3 minutes, or until they become tender. Remove from water and place in a colander. Run cold water over them to stop the cooking, and drain them. Gently press the water out of them, but not too hard. You don’t really want to smash them down into mush. Add the noodles to the water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat a wok and the coconut oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes. Add the onions and cook a few minutes longer, until they begin to become tender. Add the garlic. Cook for only a minute or so, and stir to keep it from burning. Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar, and stir to coat all the vegetables. Add the water and cornstarch and reduce the heat to medium. Roughly chop the kohlrabi into strips. Add the kohlrabi and noodles. Stir to mix the sauce evenly as it thickens. Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil and red pepper flakes. Stir one final time to mix it throughout. Serve immediately and top with sesame seeds.
*You could easily sub any winter green for the kohlrabi greens, as I realize they could be difficult to find. However, kale or perhaps mustard greens would be best because of their bitterness. This dish definitely had all the tastes, bitter from the greens, sour from the rice wine vinegar, sweet from the coconut oil, and salty from the soy sauce. It may take away from it if you use something that doesn’t have that bitter bite, but if bitterness isn’t really your cup of tea, by all means, chard or even bok choy or something would be great, too.
I hate that this is the only picture I got of the dish, but I was in such a hurry to make it, then eat it, so I could get to my hair appointment on time. Don’t get in the way of me and my hair stylist when it comes time to get these roots touched up. I didn’t have any sesame seeds, but as I was eating, I kept thinking that they would have been the perfect finishing touch on this dish. Something with a little texture. I was wary about feeding this to the Hubs, but he seemed to really like it. We both really like Asian flavors, and cooking Asian food at home.
I was so happy to have a successful dish with an ingredient I’d never used (or eaten) before. Kohlrabi is super healthy. It’s in the cabbage family, and all those veggies in the cabbage family are important to a balanced diet. They are high in vitamin C and, of course, fiber. And they are a cool season vegetable. I definitely won’t shy away from eating or cooking with the greens again. Now, I just have to try the actual vegetable itself.