In amongst a patch of peppers in our friend Julie’s garden, we found the strangest, most magical, most out of place little beast. Rachel called it a mandrake (ala Harry Potter, for the kids who aren’t hip). I marvelled at the thing because I had never actually seen one outside of a supermarket where, of course, I would never actually buy one.
Let’s be honest, even if they’re cheap (and they usually aren’t), we don’t often buy the super weird vegetables in the grocery store. They’re just daunting. We don’t know what to do with them and it’s easy to recall our more adventurous moments when we have brought home such oddities, only to let them rot in the fridge, unexplored.
So my delight at seeing this monster, this creation was because I have learned from many garden visits this summer to many pandemic gardening friends (who sometimes have NO IDEA what to do with everything they’ve grown) that I could probably get Julie to give me this beautiful kohlrabi.
“You want this thing??”, she joked, “I just don’t have a taste for it.”
And with that, she yanked the mandrake, er, I mean, kohlrabi out of the earth. Yes, it shrieked (we’re pretty sure). Oh, and Ravenclaw, thanks for asking.
None of us were sure if the leaves could be eaten, but here is the very important takeaway from this entire little experiment- THE LEAVES ARE THE BEST PART. It’s like a more substantial collard green with an essence of, I don’t know, broccoli?
Sure, you can peel that big bulb, cut it up into one inch chunks, douse it with olive oil and S+P and roast the crap out of it like I did (no photos please, she was NOT pretty) and it will be fine, but the real revelation here are the leaves. Cook them down with some sauteed onions and peppers and crack some eggs right into the pan.
There are two great things about this recipe. First, you can make it with just about ANY hearty green- collard, chard, kale, beet greens, whatever you’ve got! Second, this is a beautiful, healthy plate of food in every color of the rainbow, just like I like it! Now that’s plating with pride.
Alright, alright. I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here it is:
Ingredients (serves 2):
–Leaves from one large kohlrabi, trimmed, washed, and thinly sliced
–1 medium onion, thinly sliced
–1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
–2 cloves of garlic, minced
–1 Tablespoon reserved bacon fat (or olive oil)
–2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
–4 large eggs
–½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like heat)
–Salt and pepper, to taste
–Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional, to finish)
- Bring a large skillet to medium high heat, cook onions in bacon fat (or oil) until just translucent. Add peppers. Saute until just soft, 3-4 minutes
- Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes to onion and pepper mixture. Saute for one minute, turning frequently, being careful not to allow garlic to burn.
- Deglaze pan with apple cider vinegar, scraping any browned bits from the bottom.
- Add greens and cook down for 5-10 minutes- until greens soften and turn a bright, bright green.
- Once greens are soft, make four little wells in the pan and carefully crack eggs into it. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to cook, uncovered, until white is almost set (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add lid to the pan until the white sets and the yoke just barely steams over with white (about 1-2 minutes). The yolk should still jiggle a bit when you shake the pan.
- Top with your favorite grate cheese, nutritional yeast, furikake- whatever you like- and enjoy!!