A few years back, I challenged myself to buy one new unfamiliar item each week from the Baltimore farmers’ market. Being quite inexperienced in the kitchen at that time (let’s be honest, I’m still pretty inexperienced), there were plenty of options to choose from. I started with easy and familiar items like eggplants, radishes, and turnips. One Saturday I came across a veggie that I had never seen before, a veggie that looked like what I would imagine an underwater alien beet would look like. I only bought a small bunch and I recall inquiring about the mystery vegetable. I could have sworn the farmer said it was called cholerae… For those of you who know anything about my area of research, a veggie called cholerae is more than exciting, yet also quite terrifying! Long story short, I got excited about experimenting with my chosen veggie of the week, let it sit in the fridge for 5 days, forgot it’s fake name, and never stepped up to the challenge. Weird veggie: 1- Erin: 0. Failure!
This past week, I was at The Black Birch in Kittery, ME and was lucky enough to sample some of their house pickles. A very nice assortment exhibiting various levels of vinegar spiced flavor. Onions, carrots, cucumbers, the works… and one crunchy pickle I did not recognize… surprise (I know the anticipation was killing you), it was that alien beet veggie, correctly called kohlrabi. You better bet that when I spotted 4 bunches of purple kohlrabi at the Wake Robin Farm stand yesterday at the Portsmouth farmers’ market I had to buy all of them with one thing on the mind: RE-MATCH! The underwater alien beet kohlrabi put up a very strong fight, it was probably one the most difficult vegetables I’ve every peeled, but the pain and suffering resulted in an honest win and these awesome mustard spiced kohlrabi pickles. Crispy, and chock full of flavor I think these pickled kohlrabi sticks would be a great accompaniment to any indian or mediterranean dish. Enjoy!