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It’s the holidays! Which means I’ve been a little quiet over here, a bit preoccupied by spending time with family. At the deepest part of winter, I’m always looking for a hearty, warm dish to make and share with loved ones. This vegetarian kohlrabi gratin with dill and mustard is one worth sharing.
The last several years have had a significant lack of snow over Christmas, at least for me. We typically visit Pennsylvania for the holidays and it’s been warmer than Sacramento on Christmas for the last three years. This year, however, there’s promise of a white Christmas. With the dropping temperatures, this kohlrabi gratin is the perfect dish to warm you inside and out.
This kohlrabi gratin was inspired by my weekly CSA and a desire for scalloped potatoes or potatoes au gratin. The gratin is prepared with milk instead of heavier cream or half and half for a lighter, healthier version. Plus you’ve got kohlrabi instead of potatoes.
If you’re not familiar with it, kohlrabi is one of the brassica vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. It looks a bit like a turnip, but tastes like the stems of broccoli. While there are several cultivated varieties, including a purple skinned variety, most often it’s found as a small (or large) green bulb.
Select smaller bulbs as they are more tender and flavorful. But if you don’t have the option, be sure to peel the skins as they often get fibrous and tough. You could keep the skins on, just be prepared for a less edible texture in your kohlrabi gratin.
If you’ve got extra kohlrabi, you can try some of these broccoli recipes and use diced kohlrabi as a substitute for the broccoli.
VEGETARIAN KOHLRABI GRATIN WITH DILL AND MUSTARD
I’m a sucker for cheese. And I firmly believe that most people will eat anything savory that has cheese on it. My entire family is included in that category of most people. Even the vegetable averse will take at least one polite bite if it’s covered in cheese. So I’ll hedge my bets on this one.
Traditional potatoes au gratin differs from scalloped potatoes with the addition of cheese. So this vegetarian kohlrabi gratin includes gruyere or swiss cheese, often included in many potato gratins. I infused the milk mixture with dill, thyme, and mustard to complement the flavors of the kohlrabi and season the kohlrabi gratin as it bakes. You could easily add extra herbs on top to finish the dish.
This vegetarian kohlrabi gratin is an excellent side dish for winter potlucks, or holiday dinners. It’s lighter than many other gratins since it uses milk instead of cream or half and half. (Though I always prefer full fat dairy!) The kohlrabi retains its texture, unlike potatoes. But it’s a nice mellow crunch alongside the gooey melted cheese. Plus, I’m all about having another vegetable on the table! The more the merrier.
Looking for another vegetarian casserole? This sweet potato enchilada casserole is one of my favorites. Plus, I’ve got a full list of vegan and vegetarian recipes for your holiday table.
Vegetarian Kohlrabi Gratin with Dill and Mustard
This kohlrabi gratin is an easy casserole for any winter table. Layers of vegetables and cheese are baked with herbs and milk for a lighter, healthier twist on potatoes au gratin.
whole milk, room temperature
stone ground mustard
minced fresh dill and thyme, packed
kohlrabi, ends trimmed and peeled
shredded gruyere or swiss cheese
shredded parmesan cheese
olive oil or butter
In a small pot over medium heat, combine the milk, garlic, mustard and herbs. Bring to a slow boil then reduce heat to low. Let simmer while you prepare other ingredients.
Slice kohlrabi into 1/8-inch rounds or thinner using a knife or mandoline.
Combine shredded gruyere and parmesan cheese in a small bowl and mix well.
Use oil or butter to grease a 1 1/2-quart baking dish (about 10-inches by 7-inches or an 8-inch square dish).
Place a layer of sliced kohlrabi, slightly overlapping on the bottom. Sprinkle a handful of cheese on top. Continue to alternate layers of sliced kohlrabi and cheese until you have no more kohlrabi and the dish is full.
Pour herb and milk mixture over the kohlrabi gratin. Top with a final layer of cheese.
Cover the dish with tin foil. Bake for 45 minutes while covered. Then remove tin foil and bake another 30 min uncovered. Kohlrabi should be tender and easy to slice through.
Remove from oven. Let stand and cool 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve.
I’ve used something like this mandoline slicer (<-affiliate) for gratins and scalloped potatoes but generally prefer to use a sharp knife. I like using a deep baking dish and filling the vegetables all the way to the top. However, you could use a larger baking dish and have an overall thinner kohlrabi gratin. Cooking times will need to be adjusted as the kohlrabi gratin will cook faster.
I’ve left out any flour in this dish that is often used with potatoes au gratin for thickening. I find that even though the milk is thinner than traditional cream, all the liquid is absorbed so it doesn’t need thickening.
CHECK THE FRIDGE
This kohlrabi gratin is also a great way to use broccoli stems! Slice them thinly and mix them with the sliced kohlrabi. Other root vegetables like rutabaga, celeriac, or turnips would be a good mix in this kohlrabi gratin.
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