Download our free Illawarra Edible Garden Guide!

« July and August in our Suburban Food Forest Garden | Main | The 2011 Permaculture Diary and Calendar and Organic Expo & Green Show »

Kohlrabi – The Space Ship Vegetable

Kohlrabi is a colourful newcomer to our garden and dinner plates. It certainly is an unusual looking vegetable, and we had to laugh when reading this humorous quote in Farmer Johns Cookbook from a person who received kohlrabi in a box of mixed veggies:

I totally freaked out last year when I pulled a ‘space ship’ (kohlrabi) out of the box. But it became the basis of some good eatin’.

Kohlrabi looks striking in the garden, as the colourful bulb grows above the ground.  

Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family, like cabbages and broccoli. Both the bulb and leaves of the plant can be eaten. We enjoyed chopping up the bulb and steaming it along with potato to make a mashed potato-kohlrabi side dish – it brought a really nice flavour to the usual potato mash! We’ve also had it grated raw on a salad wrap, but it has a bit of a bite to it so you don’t need much fresh.

Kohlrabi looks so striking in the garden, and we quite enjoyed the taste of it when cooked, so this week at our local fresh food market we stocked up on a few more kohlrabi seedlings.

Anyone else tried growing and eating kohlrabi? We’d love to hear any ideas for recipes you have! A few suggestions can be found at, while more info about how to grow this colourful veggie can be found at

Reader Comments (12)

Oh, Kohlrabi tastes absolutely great! Sadly here in France you don't get it often... And i tried to sow some quite a few times this year, but every time the slugs ate all the plants :( And it does taste very well raw! One fo my favourite vegetables. And i will defeat these slugs ;)

August 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMalchus

I love Kohlrabi. I've been eating it since I started going to farmer's markets a couple of years ago. My favourite way to eat it is roasted with other vegies e.g. potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, mushrooms. Yummy!

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBee

We grate it up and add it to coleslaw - at our annual garden expo it always draws comments from people. It's a beautiful vegie.

August 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSonya

This is a very timely post! We have a kohlrabi sitting in the fridge that we bought from the Farmers Market in Reykjavik that we are unsure what to do with it. It totally looks like purple space ship too! :)

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Some varieties are green but I don't know if they are milder. If they aren't too tough they are very nice sliced in half moons and used for dipping. I also like it steamed and buttered.

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Such a funny looking vegetable. How could you not want to try it when it lloks like that :-)

August 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercityhippyfarmgirl

oh I used to struggle when it came in my box but I would love to grow it. I wonder if I can find it locally?

September 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUmatji

Where can you buy seedlings locally? I have found a limited range at the fruit barn at Fairy Meadow, but nothing else yet other than Bunnings (very average range).
Also, any ideas on getting perennial leek bulbs? Very interested if anyone knows a supplier.

September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiesel

Thanks so much for all your comments, wonderful to hear your enthusiasm and uses for this unusual veggie!

Bee, thanks for letting us know kohlrabi is really nice roasted, we'll have to give that a go! Nice idea to add it to coleslaw too Sonya, thanks for that! Mmm, steamed and buttered kolhrabi sounds really yummy too Diane!

How amazing Jen that on the other side of the world in Iceland you're wondering what to do with kohlrabi too! Hope you enjoyed yours!

Good luck with holding back the slugs Malchus - hope you can get some of this fantastic veggie growing :-)

Liesel we bought our seedlings from the veggie seedling stall that is in the Friday market in lower Crown Street mall in Wollongong. He's there every second Friday, and will be there this Friday coming up. Hope you can get a hold of some!

September 5, 2010 | Registered CommenterHappyEarth

Hi guys,
Firstly thank Ally for all your awesome, articulate and supportive comments on my blog lately!
Secondly, I second kohlrabi in coleslaw being delicious, and our other fave way of eating it is in sauerkraut, yum! We make it up like coleslaw with carrots, cabbage etc so it's like a tangy coleslaw. Really, really good when you have too many to eat straight away.
Cheers, Julie

September 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

hi! i've been a kohlrabi fan for a while, and my favourite recipe is a creamy-dreamy soup: the sweet and faintly bitter loveliness of the veg with plenty of butter and cream (or coconut cream for vegans) is just delicious! here's my recipe:

many thanks for your beautiful blog: inspiring and joyful :)

September 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterloulou

I bought a packet of kohlrabi seeds. I am usually not very successful with seeds, but these came up prolifically. I put them in the garden where they will stay. I plan to thin them out as they grow, using the baby ones in salads, stir frys and steamed.
Brassica plants are so tough. Broccoli and kale have been growing well for me too. Carrots are another, not so happy story.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.