In the small village school I attended from the ages of 5 to 9, we had as a classmate an American boy who was born and raised in Pennsylvania. His father had died in a mining accident and his widowed mother had come back to the "old country" with the little boy.
His name was Harry Rozsa. The last name means Rose in Hungarian and is a fairly common name in Hungary.
As the family name made our small classmate quite respectable, so did his strength. He could also speak English, which none of us could do. For the first few days we left Harry alone and we found that he would do strange things of which none of us approved. For example, he would eat a whole raw tomato with just a little salt. We all found that disgusting. We called him a crazy American for eating tomatoes raw. Harry, on the other hand, considered us barbarians because we would snatch from the teacher's garden a kohlrabi, peel it and eat it.
In spring, when kohlrabi is very tender and no bigger than 2 1/2 or 3 inches in diameter, you can use it to make an excellent stuffed kohlrabi. The stuffing may be made from ground veal, lamb, pork or beef, or a mixture of any two. And this is the kind of dish in which you may use the small tender inside leaves of the top of the kohlrabi as well as the bulb itself.
What is kohlrabi anyway? It is a member of the cabbage family, developed many hundred years ago somewhere in northern Europe. On its stem a firm, apple-like bulb develops, from which grow leaves resembling yound cabbages or brussels sprouts. Like cabbage, two main strains of kohlrabi exist, purple and white. Purple kohlrabi is related to red cabbage and white to green cabbage. They are not very different in taste and no different at all in looks after they are peeled.
For lunch, figure one kohlrabi per person: for dinner two per person. If the bulbs are 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, cut each in two, clear the inside with a melonballer, cut just a little bit from the stem end, hollow out the top leaf end, and use each one for a stuffed kohlrabi. STUFFED KOHLRABI (4 servings) 8 kohlrabi, about 2 bunches 1/2 pound ground veal, lamb, pork or beef, or a combination of any two 1 egg 1 cup cooked rice 1 tablespoon finely minced onion 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 or 4 tablespoon finely minced green parsley Salt and lpepper to taste Pinch of dry marjoram, crumbled 2 tablespoons butter or other shortening 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) chicken broth, undiluted, or 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 1/4 cups boiling water 3 to 4 tablespoons flour mixed into 1/2 cup light cream or half-and-half 1 cup sour cream
Peel kohlrabi, cut in half and hollow out with a melon ball cutter or a small sharp spoon. Save insides.
Place hollowed-out kohlrabi in a pot of lightly salted cold water, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat. When it starts to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, then remove kohlrabi with slotted spoon. Let stand hollow part down so that water will drain. Add small pieces to boiling water and simmer about 5 minutes. Drain and discard water.
Saute onions and 1 tablespoon parsley in vegetable oil until onion is transparent. Mix thoroughly ground meat with egg, rice, sauteed onions and parsley, salt and pepper and marjoran. Stuff kohlrabi with mixture. If you have meat mixture left over, form balls about the same size as stuffing in kohlrabi.
After you pre-cook inside parts, melt butter in a small skillet or saucepan, add inside parts and a little salt and pepper, cover and saute gently over low heat about 10 minutes. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole or a glass pie dish. Arrange stuffed kohlrabi (and meatballs, if any) on top of small pieces, pour half the chicken broth over it, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Stir remaining chicken broth into cream-flour mixture and spoon over stuffed kohlrabi. Bake another 30 minutes.
Before serving, add a few tablespoons of liquid from casserole to sour cream, then spoon sour cream over stuffed kohlrabi and sprinkle generously with remaining freshly chopped parsley.