Eating Kohlrabi Raw: Savory, Sweet, and Spicy

I found out about kohlrabi about 5 years ago, and am still so intrigued by it.

It’s sort of like a mini cabbage that comes in purple, white or green, and can be eaten in a multitude of ways.

Today I’m talking about eating it raw.

Before I get into the preparation, here’s some fast facts:


  • Kohlrabi comes from the German word “kohl” meaning cabbage and “rabi” meaning turnip
  • A biennial vegetable (I explain what that means in this post)
  • It belongs to the Brassica family along with cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and more
  • Both bulb and leaves are edible
  • The texture of the bulb is similar to a radish or green apple, with a mild taste
  • To prep: peel tough outer layer on bulb

Last night I sliced a stack of raw kohlrabi slices, and prepared 3 different toppings for a platter of different bites.

Eating Kohlrabi Raw: Savory, Sweet, and Spicy

Left to right:

Tahini sauce, chopped assorted olives, cracked pepper

Peanut butter, backyard raspberries, almonds in acacia honey

Olive oil, spicy pickle relish, Carrot Habanero Ginger hot sauce

Although a play on PB & J may sound weird, I credit my meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns as the inspiration. One of our first courses there was a baby kohlrabi atop a pickled peach jam, which was fantastic. My concoction was pretty good too.

The truth is that raw kohlrabi is such a blank, crunchy canvas that it can handle something sweet, or something spicy….

I made these pickles about a week ago, and they provided a lovely briny heat to the kohlrabi slices.

But the clear winner was the tahini sauce and olives

I often make a simple tahini sauce with lemon juice, pressed garlic, and smoked paprika. It served as the perfect base for a handful of fresh olives that I roughly chopped, and twisted a few cranks of black pepper over.

A wonderful raw trio that covered nearly every taste!

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for the next time a kohlrabi comes into your life…

I’ll be sharing some more ideas soon (including cooked and baked), but in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for one of these at your local farmer’s market.




Betsy Brockett was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at the age of 28, and continues to thrive despite the challenges that cancer has created in her life. Holding a degree in Art & Visual Technology from George Mason University, Betsy expresses herself through writing, photography, painting, pottery, and more. She is most often found cultivating, creating, practicing/teaching yoga, or simply enjoying the beauty of life.

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