Photograph by Lisa Romerein
Ever wonder about those Sputnik-shaped orbs stacked next to the fennel at the market? Not another root vegetable, this bulbous plant actually grows aboveground and is a cousin of head cabbage. When picking kohlrabi, bigger isn’t necessarily better: The smaller stems have a more concentrated flavor that’s between a turnip and a cauliflower, while larger ones tend to taste woody. Purple or green? Both are a delicious and vitamin-rich potato substitute when boiled and mashed. You can also eat kohlrabi raw—sliced thin with a mandoline and added to a salad—but we think the flesh is sweetest when cooked. Don’t throw out the leaves; they’re similar to cabbage and braise just as well.