Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week 10: Roasted Kohlrabi and Mozzarella Crostini

Among food bloggers, the general consensus on kohlrabi seems to be that the vegetable tastes like the stems of broccoli, resembles Sputnik 1, and is good in slaw. I can't disagree with any of that. But you don't need another recipe for slaw, do you? I'm pretty confident that you can simply shred raw kohlrabi with carrots and onions, add a little vinaigrette or mayonnaise-based dressing, and come out OK.

I went a different route this week after finding an intriguing appetizer recipe on the Food 52 site. That recipe turned out to have some flaws (Two to three kohlrabi for only 12 appetizers? Must have been way smaller than the ones I had. And the "crispy lemons and shallots"? Never worked for us ... ) but we persevered. You can't go too wrong pairing a broccoli-ish vegetable -- or just about any other kind of vegetable, for that matter -- with fresh herbs and mozzarella cheese.

Prepare the components of the crostini a day in advance and assemble them just prior to serving, or give yourself a large window of time to prep and roast the kohlrabi. You'll need to use your judgment on how much kohlrabi to roast. You will want one slice of cooked kohlrabi (about 1/4 inch thick) for each slice of toasted bread. I had all of the fresh herbs in my garden, but you can try simplifying this recipe by substituting pesto or an olive tapenade for the herb paste.

Roasted Kohlrabi and Mozzarella Crostini
(Adapted from this recipe on Food 52. Makes 12 appetizer servings. Pare the kohlrabi to remove the fibrous outer layer.)

1 or 2 kohlrabi, about 3-inches in diameter, well-trimmed and pared
Olive oil
12 slices, 1/2-inch thick, from a baguette (about half of a 1-pound loaf)
1 sprig basil
1 sprig rosemary
4 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
8 pitted kalamata olives
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly

Brush the kohlrabi with olive oil, wrap tightly in foil, and roast in a 400-degree oven for 40 to 60 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool, then slice into 1/4-inch slices. Meanwhile, place 12 baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast at 400 degrees until they reach a light golden brown, maybe 5 minutes per side, but watch carefully.

Remove and discard the stems of the basil, rosemary, parsley, and thyme. Finely chop the leaves of the herbs with the garlic and salt; a small food processor works well for this. Add the olives and pulse until the mixture comes together; add a little olive oil if needed to form a paste.

Preheat your broiler and adjust your oven rack to one level below the top one. Spread each toast round with a bit of the herb paste. Top with slices of roasted kohlrabi and fresh mozzarella. Place the crostini under the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbling. This should take just a minute or two; watch carefully so you don't burn the edges of the bread. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment