Once again, I am trying to focus my articles on items that will be in the shares most days of the week. This week I am including Napa cabbage and kohlrabi, both items that can sometimes stump the most creative of us cooks.
Napa Cabbage can be a bit confusing. It is a cabbage, but it looks more like a cross between lettuce and bok choy. However, it doesn’t have to be mysterious. Just treat it like you would any of those vegetables. It can be roasted, grilled, sautéed, stir fried, etc. It makes great coleslaw and, when blanched, serves as a wonderful “wrap” for stuffings. To learn more about Napa Cabbage, including it’s health benefits, see one of my older posts on this multipurpose vegetable (click here).
This week I decided to find a way to get my almost 18 year old son to eat Napa cabbage so I cooked it in beer and mustard and served it with roasted pork tenderloin. The two went so well together he ate a hearty share of the braised cabbage. I was thrilled.
The pork tenderloin was easy. I first trimmed it of silver skin (the pearly, translucent stuff the runs down on side of the tenderloin–trimming this leads to a more tender product). I then rubbed the tenderloin with Dijon mustard (you can use your favorite type of mustard) and then generously seasoned all sides with salt and pepper. I cooked it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until it reached 150 degrees in the thickest part of the center, about 25-35 minutes. I allowed it to sit for 10 minutes, then sliced it up.
Below is the recipe for the cabbage. It also goes great with grilled sausages, especially bratwurst.
I came up with the following Napa cabbage recipe while actually trying to use up some of my own rhubarb. If you don’t wish to use the rhubarb BBQ sauce, simply sub in your own BBQ sauce. You also don’t have to use sprouted lentils but they are a bit more healthful than regular lentils. The burger is a great way to use up some the zucchini in the share.
Sprouted Lentil Burgers with Rhubarb BBQ Sauce and Napa Cabbage
– 1 cup dried sprouted lentils
– 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
– 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, (or carrot)
– 3/4 teaspoon Mexican seasoning blend
– 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 3-4 tablespoon tahini
– 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
– rhubarb BBQ sauce
– shredded napa cabbage
1. Preheat oven to 400℉. Spread 1 tablespoon high heat oil evenly across a rimmed baking sheet. Remove patties from pan with a thin spatula. Place patties on toasted buns with a little avocado oil mayonnaise spread on the bottom bun half. Top with lentil burger, then with BBQ sauce, cabbage and top of the bun.
2. Place 1 cup lentils and 4 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until lentils are tender but still have some bite. Drain throughly and allow to cool.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion, zucchini, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and all water has cooked off. Remove from heat
4. Place lentils and the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 1-2 minutes until mixture is chunky but sticky and holds together when pressed (if mixture is too dry, add more tahini). Taste for salt level and adjust as necessary.
5. Shape lentil mixture into 6 patties and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with more oil over top of burgers. Pat tops of burgers to distribute oil over the surface. Place pan in oven and bake for 10 minutes. You just want to get the patties warmed through a little bit crisped on top and bottom. Overcooking will dry out the patties.
I hope by now that you have had a chance to taste the farm’s kohlrabi. So far this year I have only had it raw in salads, but a recent recipe in a cooking magazine for whole roasted kohlrabi made my mouth water. I decided to try my own version. The result was delicious. the tender kohlrabi tasted a lot like artichoke heart.
Sorrel leaves are in the herb garden to the right of the thyme. It has a nice lemony flavor that pairs well with the kohlrabi.
Whole Roasted Kohrabi with Creamy Sorrel Dressing
– 2 kohlrabi, greens removed and bulbs trimmed of offshoots
– 1/4 cup sorrel leaves, roughly chopped
– 1/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably avocado oil based
– 1-2 tablespoon water
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 450℉. Place about 1/2” water in a baking dish. Place prepared kohlrabi in dish and place in oven. Bake for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours (depending upon size of kohlrabi) or until a knife goes through kohlrabi very easily. Check on water occasionally to make sure it doesn’t go dry or else kohlrabi will burn (Remember to add only hot water to the dish or it can crack). Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, peel kohlrabi. Cut into wedges.
2. Meanwhile, place dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Add additional water to get to a pourable consistency. Drizzle over kohlrabi and serve.
Note: To save on oven time, you can peel and cut the kohlrabi into wedges, toss well with oil, and roast at 400 degrees Farenheit, turning occasionally to prevent burning. The result is still delicious, although a bit different.
Roasting kohlrabi whole is not the only way to prepare this vegetable. Below are some other interesting ideas I’ve found in cooking magazines and blogs, as well as one of my own recipes for kohlrabi chips:
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