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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stuffed Kohlrabi in Coconut Milk Sauce

Kohlrabi stuffed with brown rice and barley in coconut milk sauce

I was lovingly lingering over the brilliantly colorful vegetable array at one of the Sauvie Island farm markets the other day, coming up with recipes on the fly, exploring the different ways I could cook each of them, when I was jolted out of my reverie with a 2 minute warning from the other adult which meant, I am heading to the checkout and if you want anything you better add it to the basket now or forever hold your peace.

So I grabbed a big bunch of kohlrabi (at $1.99 a bunch it was unbeatable), some sweet corn on the cob, and a bunch of purple radishes and dashed. Cippolini onions, scallop squash, and apricots will have to wait till my next trip.

stuffed kohlrabi barley brown rice coconut milk

The kohlrabi bunch had six large bulbs plus oodles of earthy greens. The raised eyebrow quizzing What are you going to do with all this kohlrabi? from the other half was met with my own patented grin reassuring Oh tons of things, you'll see! 

And so it is that I've been making kohlrabi dish after kohlrabi dish, wishing I had grabbed another bunch at the farm market before rushing off.

After boiling it tender but firm, the innards can be scooped out and added to the stuffing to enhance the kohlrabi experience. The scooped out bowls of boiled kohlrabi can then be filled with the stuffing, ready for steaming and simmering in the sauce.

stuffed kohlrabi vegetarian brown rice and barley coconut milk sauce

The stuffing can be anything, really - TVP, lentils, flavored brown rice or quinoa, barley or freekeh, mashed leftovers, ground meat... whatever the mood calls for.

This time, I wanted to make a vegetarian stuffing that can stand on its own as a side for another meal, so I went with Brown Rice + Barley + Mung Dal + Veggies, mildly spiced with cumin and caraway.

stuffed kohlrabi coconut milk sauce brown rice barley mung beans

The easiest way to make this particular stuffing for me is to throw the barley, brown rice, and mung dal in the rice cooker, with some salt and enough stock and cook it till done. Meanwhile, chop the veggies, saute with cumin and caraway seeds, then add in the cooked barley+rice+mung mixture, stir well and adjust seasoning to taste.

Kohlrabi stuffed with brown rice and barley in coconut milk sauce

Sauce can be anything from simple Bechemel to plain tomato sauce. I wanted to use the lemon grass from my garden so The Thai style coconut milk sauce came about.

2 or 3 whole kohlrabi

For the stuffing:
½ cup cooked barley
½ cup cooked brown rice
¼ cup cooked mung dal
¼ cup finely chopped red and orange peppers
¼ cup finely chopped red onions
¼ cup finely chopped red cabbage
¼ cup grated carrots
¼ cup grated zucchini
¼ cup chopped kale
1 Tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
the scooped out innards of the boiled kohlrabi
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
salt to taste

For the cooking sauce:

Kohlrabi stuffed with brown rice and barley in coconut milk sauce

Some home-garden lemon grass plus dry red chilies and garlic cloves were mashed and pounded in a mortal and pestle to a coarse consistency
1 14 oz can or about 1½ cups of coconut milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil
salt to taste

  1. Slice the bottom of kohlrabi just a millimeter or two to make it sit on its bottom comfortably without wobbling
  2. Nestle 2 or 3 such kohlrabis in a pot with enough stock or water to immerse them, cover and allow to boil for 20 minutes till a skewer inserted into the middle slides in smooth and tender
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing: heat the oil, add the cumin and caraway and the veggies, stir and saute, then add the cooked rice+barley+mung dal and fold it all in to make a uniform mixture
  4. Remove the boiled kohlrabis, slice the top, scoop out the innards and add the innards to the stuffing and mix well
  5. Stuff the boiled kohlrabis with the prepared stuffing
  6. Sauce: Heat the teaspoon of coconut oil in the pot, add the crushed/pounded lemon grass+chilies+garlic and saute till aromatic, add the coconut milk; then gently place the stuffed kohlrabis, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes till sauce thickens
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature with the sauce drizzled on, or on the side

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