Sunday, 16 September 2012

Kohlrabi Gratin

One of our favourite vegetables is sadly one that we don't eat that often.  We first discovered kohlrabi in gardening seed catalogues, we knew nothing about them other than the fact that they looked like small sputniks.  That image alone was enough for us to try and grow them.  Our first attempts were feeble, only two or three of the row of seeds we planted germinated and when one finally got big enough to eat it was old and woody.

Not put off by our initial attempts we tried again the following year with a much higher success rate.  I had a German colleague at the time who was mad for kohlrabi.  She informed me that she loved to eat them raw like an apple but that that wasn't necessarily normal.  We played about with them, finding new recipes to try with every harvest.

Now that we have all but given up the allotment* we don't get to eat kohlrabi that often.  It seldom appears in the "super" markets and when we do find it at farmers markets or on Leeds market it is often too expensive.  We were lucky to find a really nice large purple kohlrabi at Headingley Farmers Market at a price that we were willing to pay and quickly decided on how we were going to cook it.

Kholrabi gratin is every bit as good as it sounds.  Thinly sliced kohlrabi is layered in a buttered oven proof dish, seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper and then covered in cream and strong cheese.  It is then baked for half an hour covered and quarter of an hour uncovered to crisp up the top.  We've had this with salad, bread and on occasion, on it's own.  Tonight we happened to have some good sausages so we had those.  The gratin was definitely the star of the show though.

*a hard decision but probably the right one

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