I LOVE my CSA. It has been three years since I last was a member of Community Supporting Agriculture. I still love the surprises.
When I joined a fruit CSA with my family some summers ago, I awed at the weekly challenge of “what will I receive” and “what will I make from this”? Some weeks were easy. Heck, you just eat the donut peaches! Others were an adventure, “what do I do with 2 pounds of sour cherries?….Make one of the best pies. Ever.”!
This year, I’m splitting a vegetable share.It’s fantastic way to keep my intake of veggies up, receive local AND organic produce, while learning so much about the process of ‘farm to fork’.
One of my favorite pieces to this collective sharing is my weekly email from Farmer John. Last week, we were gifted with this vegetable I’ve never seen, probably never eaten before. That’s right: kohlrabi!
Here’s an excerpt from our Farmer John correspondence, I so appreciate his humor:
If you are like me and unlike one of our former presidents, you love broccoli. For this reason I sow thousands of plants and many different varieties, with varying days to maturity. We also succession plant over about a month long period in the spring in order to have 3 to 4 weeks of broccoli harvest during the early summer. At present almost every variety and planting is beginning to head, so what was expected to be a month long harvest window will probably be condensed into 2 weeks.
We will also be sending you the ultimate vegetable curve ball in the (baseball shaped) form of kohlrabi. It can be eaten raw- grated to make a slaw (kohlslaw) or added to your BIG salad.
What to do with this beauty? I hadn’t a clue! Enter the CSA save all……Google! Within minutes, I had some great ideas. My kohlrabi fries were delish, lightly seared in minimal oil and finger licking good. But, my favorite concoction was a take off of this recipe.
Kate’s Kohlrabi Spring Rolls
- 4-8 Rice paper spring roll wrappers (if you don’t have a nice Vietnamese inn keeper who gives these to you for free after you’ve traveled twice to stay at her place…which is 40 miles from the nearest city, then I suggest visiting an Asian market or a large store with a good cultural section (like Wegman’s) ).
- Generous handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
- Generous handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tablespoon fresh, peeled, chopped ginger
- Sliced kohlrabi (about 1/4-1/2 pound, peeled and sliced)
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Chickpeas (mine were already roasted Mama Pea style, but other ways work too)
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- Hoisin sauce, or your favorite condiment for dipping
This recipe is flexible for other vegetables as well: turnips, onions, carrots, etc.
- Slice your kohlrabi and scallions. Toss with rice vinegar.
- Add ginger, basil mint, & chickpeas.
- Prepare wrappers by putting a few cups of warm water in a large bowl. Place wrappers, one at a time, in the bowl until they have softened a bit, about 30-45 seconds. Take out of water, holding above bowl letting the excess water drain off.
- Place your wrapper on a plate or cutting board and fill ‘er up! Just leave marginal room to fully fold this sucker up.
- Eat this fresh dish with your favorite dipping sauce (mine’s hoisin).
Learning about the process, supporting a cause I believe in, being challenged, sharing a laugh, and sitting down to a delicious meal, this is my kinda recipe!
*Special thanks to Farmer John and his crew, for their care and cultivation of our CSA bounty!