With its impressive versatility, this strange-looking member of the Brassica family is the perfect ingredient for salad and soup.

Don’t be intimidated by the strange, almost alien-like appearance. Rather embrace the less familiar and experiment with the rather interesting vegetable, kohlrabi.

It has a German name, which can be translated to ‘cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rabi)’. It is a member of the Brassica family – related to the likes of cabbages, kale and broccoli among others. When you taste kohlrabi, the familial relationship becomes immediately clear. It is crunchy with a flavor, which could be described as something of a hybrid of broccoli (stem) and not surprisingly a cabbage.

In Australia, there are two varieties most readily available; green/white and purple. The colour differences are only external and you will find that when you slice open the bulb, they are all a similar shade of pale green on the inside. In terms of flavour, however, the green/white variety offers a sweeter taste.

When you are choosing a specimen for your dish, pay attention to the whole vegetable, not just the bulb. Starting from the top, the leaves should look fresh, crisp and display an intense green colour. The spherical bulb part of the vegetables vary in size (occasionally the larger bulbs can be a little tough) but choose one that is blemish-free and feels heavy for its size.

As both the bulb and leaves can be eaten, the versatility of this product is impressive (and just one of the many reasons to include it on your shopping list). You can eat the bulb raw after peeling off the skin or outer layer using a vegetable peeler. Finely slice and eat kohlrabi, like you would an apple. Or you can lightly blanch it and then include it in a salad during the warmer months. Treat the leaves as you would any leafy green – tossed in oil and garlic or included in soup. Kohlrabi is very popular and widely used in India in curries. Roasted or steamed, you won’t be disappointed.

Your provider will most likely stock this or be able to get it for you easily. It is available all year round.

Jenny Hobson McGrigor is from Murdoch Produce. Read more about the business on murdochproduce.com.au.