Maybe it’s the economy, but I’m finding myself growing increasingly careful about what I throw away. Now when a recipe calls for half an onion, I’ll dice and freeze the other half. So when I was cutting the stems and leaves off two kohlrabi bulbs, I decided to break with tradition and keep them. Unwashed, the greens stayed in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few days.
When I had time to come back to them, I pondered what to do. I knew they would cook down tremendously, so I’d have to stretch them with something. And I had a hunch they’d be tough, so I knew they’d need some cooking. In the end, I decided to make one of my favorite vegetarian side dishes: Beans and Greens.
First I de-stemmed the leaves, then chopped them coarsely and boiled them in salted water until tender. This took a while, so I recommend doing something else and coming back to check in periodically. When cooked, the kohlrabi tasted just like collards, so I knew I was on the right track.
Next I sautéed a clove of garlic and tossed in the greens. I also added a few handfuls of leftover navy beans and heated things through. Right before serving, I toasted some bread crumbs in butter and sprinkled them on top. The dish would also work without the beans, but it wouldn’t go nearly as far; like any leafy green, the kohlrabi leaves really do cook down.
Beans and Greens
Note that this is more of a technique than a recipe and can be adapted to any kind of greens and any number of people.
1. Cut the leaves from two kohlrabi bulbs. Coarsely chop them, then boil in a pot of salted water until tender. Drain and pat dry.
2. Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat and add one clove of minced garlic. When fragrant, turn up the heat to medium-high and add the cooked greens and as many white beans as you want (a can of cannellini beans would work well).
3. While everything is heating through, melt a few tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and add a quarter-cup or so of bread crumbs. Toast over medium heat until golden. When the beans and greens are hot, drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the top, season with salt and pepper, and top with toasted bread crumbs. Serve the remaining bread crumbs at the table.