She’s a better cook than me
by MELISSA GORDON
Diane Leutgeb Munson didn’t know what a kohlrabi was until she was an adult. But once she saw one, it was love at first sight.
“I was volunteering at the Catholic Worker house when Lonny and Sandy Dietz [of Whitewater Gardens, Altura] would stop by to donate produce,” explained Diane. “It was the most beautiful food I’d ever seen. That’s when I realized food could be different from what I’d known my whole life.”
Soon after, Diane got a job farming at Whitewater Gardens and later at Blue Fruit Farm (Winona). She then moved into food production at Blue Heron Coffee House, which is known for making delicious food using local and organic ingredients. Her experiences both growing and preparing food “revolutionized my view about flavors,” said Diane. “I watched food from local farms come in the door at the Blue Heron and often go out to customers virtually untouched. I learned that good food doesn’t need us to do a lot to it.”
Perhaps most importantly, Diane’s experience has given her a deep respect for food, which is criterion number one for her new position as Bluff Country Co-op’s kitchen manager. “I definitely have a lot to learn from the kitchen staff, and I am prepared to be humbled by the learning curve,” said Diane of her new position. “But I also have a lot of ideas and I always feel at home in a kitchen.” Just don’t expect to see much celery. When asked if there was any food she didn’t like, Diane responded immediately: “I really dislike celery.”
Never Seen a Kohlrabi Before? Neither Had Diane! Try It In This
Salad — It May Change Your Life
(aka Tabouli Salad, adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)
• 1 cup dry bulgur
(for a gluten- free option, see
• 1 ½ cups boiling
• 1 ½ teaspoon
• ¼ cup fresh lem
• 1 heaping tea
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ½ cup scallions, including greens
• ½ teaspoon mint (dried or fresh)
• 1 cup chopped parsley
• 2-3 cups seasonal vegetables, chopped
(See note below)
1. Combine bulgur, boiling water, and salt in a bowl. Cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes until bulgur is chewable.
2. Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, scallions, mint, and parsley. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for two to three hours.
3. Just before serving, add vegetables and mix gently.
1. Add cooked chickpeas or feta for protein.
2. Substitute quinoa for bulgur for a gluten-free
3. Various season combinations to try:
• Kohlrabi, grated carrots, snap peas, and
• Tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers
• Zucchini, shell peas, and cherry tomatoes