Kohlrabi Au Gratin


It seems like there is no high ground for the Kohlrabi, you either love it or hate it or are intimated by it.  This unusual looking chap (with absolutely no known ties to the alien world) is edible from top to bottom.  The greens are wonderful chopped and sautéed as you would any other green.  As Shrek so eloquently told us “Ogres have layers…. like onions.” and I think the ogre moniker would apply in this case.

Two distinct fibrous layers that could repel those that might try to eat or slay these unusual beasts safely surround the Kohlrabi bulbs. It’s best to peel away these layers prior to cooking or serving raw;  the good stuff is underneath the tough exterior (bam! the ogre analogy works). The inside has a texture similar to a broccoli stem but with a sweeter flavor that is fantastic raw and can be shredded and used in a slaw or cut in slices and concealed on a crudité platter.

But back to our recipe – dump the potatoes and try this low carb alternative to a traditional au gratin, and instead of cream, I used chicken broth to lighten the load. The key is to slice the kohlrabi very thinly, if you have a mandolin slicer use that. If you don’t have a mandolin, ask Santa for one, you will wonder how you ever got by without one.

1 bunch of Kohlrabi
1 leek, cleaned and chopped fine (white and light green part only – save the green tops for stock)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
3/4-1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small skillet or saucepan saute the garlic and leeks in the tablespoon of butter over medium heat until the garlic is starting to brown.  Add chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes until leeks are soft.

While that is cooking, with a paring knife, trim tops and layers from the Kohlrabi retaining as much of the round shape as possible (chop up the greens and saute or save for another meal).  Slice into thin rounds (somewhere between 1/16 – 1/8″ is where I sliced) on a mandolin slicer – don’t forget to use your slicing tool!

Toss the slices with the tablespoon of olive oil and put down one layer of slices in the bottom of a flat casserole dish.  Toss the remaining slices in with the chicken broth, leek and garlic mixture and stir to coat, then layer in the casserole.  Top with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Bake covered for 35 minutes and then remove the cover and finish baking until cheese is browning – about 10 minutes longer.


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