OK, I fibbed. (Well, not on purpose.) I told you that only later in the season do I start turning my attention toward preservation. It’s true that I do most of my preserving then, but I certainly don’t wait to get started. Pickled, fermented, and otherwise preserved veggies just taste too good. Plus, they’re healthy and they extend the shelf life of each share so you don’t have to eat through the whole thing in one week.
If I have a lot of one kind of produce -- a bag of cucumbers, say -- then I’ll usually take the extra step of canning so that the jars will be shelf stable for up to a year. If I only have a little bit of something, or I’m short on time (which is usually the case), I’ll just whip up a batch of quickles -- quick pickles -- that will keep in the fridge for a few months.
The last farm share had one giant kohlrabi, and I was on the prowl for some new pickles to have around for salads, snacking, and garnishing dishes.
Once you get a base pickling liquid recipe down, you can modify it with various veggies and seasonings as you wish (think: spices, herbs, peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, etc.). My favorite pickling liquid is the one I used to make as a line cook at Gramercy Tavern. It has a nice sweet/salty balance and makes a great blank canvas for any quickle creation. I adapted Chef Michael Anthony’s recipe from the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook for my kohrabi pickles with mustard seeds. These pickles add a lovely sweet and sour sparkle to a savory dish; they’re also pretty darn good right out of the jar by the forkful.
Quick pickled Kohlrabi
Adapted from the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook
2 1-pint mason jars with lids (or other heat safe containers)
1 lb kohlrabi* (~1 large or two medium), peeled, cut into matchsticks with a mandolin or food processor
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar (unseasoned)
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- Pack half the kohlrabi into each jar.
- Make pickling liquid: Add rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and mustard seeds to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally so the sugar doesn’t scorch.
- Pour hot pickling liquid over kohlrabi, leaving about ¼ inch headspace; place lids on loosely; let cool to room temperature (~1 hour); tighten lids and refrigerate. Keeps in the fridge for a few months.
*If your kohlrabi came with greens attached, lucky you: they’re edible! Try tossing them in with other sautéed greens or adding them to a stir-fry. If they're young and tender, you can eat them raw in a salad.
Quick tip: Use your chef's knife instead of a peeler to peel the kohlrabi. It's easier and quicker.
Other dishes from this CSA share
- Sauteeed kale, chard, and kohlrabi greens with scallions, white beans, a splash of balsamic, and some grated pecorino romano
- Salads with the red leaf and romaine lettuces
- Shaved squash salad with oregano from the last share
- Steamed broccoli with rice, sardines, and avocado (my husband's specialty)
- Gently wiled bok choy and glazed turnips with fish