Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSA

July 10th, 2012 / Comments 0

Our weekly CSA pick-up at Fable Farm is an opportunity to see friends and vegetables both old and new.

potluck sign Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSAWe look forward to sharing a pot luck meal with old friends like Shoshana and T and their daughters Tess and Devi, both discerning vegetarians, and new friends whose names I hope I’ll remember the next time I see them.

turnips c egbert Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSA

Unlike people, all of the vegetables on the tables are labeled, so the dilemma with new vegetable friends is not forgetting their names but figuring out how to serve them. Kohlrabi was the new friend many of us met last Thursday. Adding peeled slivers of kohlrabi to a salad was the only ‘recipe’ that came to mind when I saw the pile of pale green and purple globes next to the spinach. It was time to learn more about this new vegetable friend and figure out a creative, and tasty, way of serving it.

hot air balloon Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSA

The name Kohlrabi’s is a combination of the German word for cabbage, kohl, and rabi, Swiss-German for turnip. Although it looks like a root vegetable, the edible globe is actually a swollen stem that grows above ground. I’ve heard kohlrabi described as a cross between an octopus and a space capsule or the offspring from a ‘mixed marriage’ of cabbage and broccoli. To me, it’s a vegetable trying to look like a hot air balloon – the purple globe is the basket, the multiple stems are the vertical ropes and the leaves are the balloon. Whatever it looks like, I wanted to do more than peel, slice and salt it before we ate it, so I used it as the main ingredient in vegetable fritters. With paste made by combining chickpea flour, also called besan, and water to bind everything together, these vegan fritters were also gluten free. Here’s how I made them:

Kohlrabi Fritters

1 medium kohlrabi
4 scallions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying

After I removed the thick, fibrous peel from the kohlrabi with a paring knife, I shredded it on the coarsest holes of a box grater then put it onto a cloth napkin and squeezed the kohlrabi to remove the excess water. I combined shredded kohlrabi, the scallions, including the green tops, cut in quarter-inch pieces, the paprika, cumin, black mustard seeds, salt and cayenne pepper and set it aside.

I put the chickpea flour in a small bowl, slowly stirred in enough water to form thick paste then added the paste to the kohlrabi mixture and stirred until it was well combined.

I covered the mixture and set it aside, at room temperature, for half an hour to develop flavor. I poured vegetable oil, about half-inch deep, into a medium, cast iron frying pan and heated it over medium heat. Rather than using a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil, I knew it was ready when tiny bubbles formed on the tip of a chopstick submerged in the oil. I used two teaspoons to form small, slightly flattened fritters, lowered them gently into the hot oil, fried them about two minutes before gently turning them and frying them on the other side for another two minutes more.  I drained the golden fritters on a paper towel, sprinkled them with salt and served them with to a bowl of plain yogurt for dipping. I had made eighteen small fritters.

boots c egbert Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSA

This recipe invites experimentation. If you don’t have chickpea flour in your pantry, make a paste with an egg, a dollop of cottage cheese and enough flour, white or whole wheat, to make a paste; boost the flavor with a handful of chopped fresh cilantro, a teaspoon of curry powder, or a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger or garlic; add a handful of chopped fresh kale, spinach or green peas to the kohlrabi mixture; or, add a bit of minced cucumber and fresh chili pepper to the yogurt to make a spicy dipping sauce. If you don’t have kohlrabi in the fridge, don’t worry – soon there will be more zucchini than you can imagine and zucchini fritters are yummy too.

Kohlrabi Fritters from a Vermont CSA
Print
Recipe type: Vegan appetixer or side dish
Author: Carol Egbert
Prep time: 35 mins
Cook time: 4 mins
Total time: 39 mins
Serves: 18 small fritters
This crispy fritters are gluten free and vegan and can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and coarsely shredded
  • 4 scallions, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces, include green tops
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (100gr) chickpea flour, (besan)
  • 1/3 cup (75gr) water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Squeeze kohlrabi to remove the excess water.
  2. Combined kohlrabi, scallions, paprika, cumin, black mustard seeds, salt and cayenne pepper and set it aside.
  3. Slowly stir in enough water to chickpea flour to form thick paste.
  4. Add paste to kohlrabi mixture and stir until combined. Cover and set aside, at room temperature, for half an hour to develop flavor.
  5. Pour vegetable oil, about 1/2-inch (1cm) deep, into medium, frying pan, heat over medium heat until tiny bubbles form on the tip of a chopstick submerged in the oil.
  6. Form fritters using two teaspoons.
  7. Flatten fritters slightly, lower gently into hot oil, fry for two minutes, turn and fry on other side for two minutes more.
  8. Drain fritters on paper towel, sprinkle with salt and serve with plain yogurt for dipping.

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