Kohlrabi get’s a bad rap. It’s often chucked onto CSA (that’s community supported agriculture) orders or thrown in with apples for a “healthy” salad that tastes mostly like cardboard and is so repulsive, you would only consider eating it if you had absolutely nothing in your fridge and only $7.00 cash on you (thus preventing delivery.) The internet is full of “delicious” kohlrabi recipes that are “healthy” and “fresh” and basically taste like the garbage at the Whole Foods salad bar.
But seriously….if anybody knows anyone who works for Whole Foods and can get me an in, I could whip that shitty salad bar into shape before you can say alfalfa sprout.
I don’t have a CSA box, though I do covet one. But I did notice that the kohlrabi was $0.33 per pound at the market, so let’s say I pounced and found myself with 3 pounds of little kohlrabis. I suppose they were probably the bottom of the barrel because all were about the size of a small apple, so peeling them just to saute or roast seemed like a lot of work. Logically I decided to make even more work for myself and make a gratin. I had some shallot and chicken broth left over my dinner of pork chops…so I thought I’d make a sauce and layer tiny slivery of kohlrabi like a sliced potato gratin. I should also add that you’ll most likely have garlic, olive oil and chicken broth in your pantry. If that’s the case, this whole meal should cost you about $6.00!
You’ll definitely need to use a mandolin for this recipe, the kohlrabi is so delicious when it’s paper-thin and roasted in salt and fat. It’s also really important to peel off not only the skin, but the 1/8 inch thick darker green flesh as it’s fibrous and won’t taste very good.
Got MORE kohlrabi? Check out my recipe for a Japanese style dish here.
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Kohlrabi Gratin with Shallots and Garlic
You will need:
3 lbs. Kohlrabi (about 12 small ones or 6 large ones)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves
2 large shallots
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
A small round casserole dish (le cruset)
1. Preheat your oven to 360. Chop the onion and garlic very finely. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until they start to brown. Add the chicken broth and cook for 3 minutes in high, then turn the flame down to a simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened. You may want to add some salt if you used low-sodium chicken broth.
2. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of the pot. Using a peeler and knife, remove the outer skin and dark green layer of the kohlrabi. Then, using a mandolin, slice each vegetable into paper thin pieces. Add a thin layer of them on the bottom of pot so they resemble fish scales. Drizzle 2 Tbs of the mixture on top of the first layer, then repeat with a second layer fo kohlrabi slices. Continue this process until you have 6 layers or you run out oh kholrabi. If you run out of sauce, quickly fry up some garlic in olive oil and add another 1/2 cup of chicken broth.
3. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and bake, with the lid on for 35 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese forms a nice crust.
Want even MORE kohlrabi? Check out my Japanese kohlrabi recipe here: