Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO/ecoRI News contributor
Calling all parents — this week’s recipe is for you. If you try day after day to get your kids to eat vegetables, I think they’ll try this one. After all, kohlrabi is a cool name for a vegetable, right?
I have to admit that I had never heard of kohlrabi until I picked it up at Simmons Organic Farm last week as part of my CSA. I did a good amount of research about this round-shaped vegetable and it turns out you can eat it many different ways — raw (like in a slaw or in a salad), pickled, puréed or stewed. Who knew this turnip-family root vegetable could be eaten so many ways?
Apparently, the word kohlrabi is German for cabbage turnip. However, in tasting it raw I would say it’s more related to broccoli stems rather than a root vegetable. Kohlrabi can be found in both green and purple varieties, and from what I’ve read online it seems people just love it. I can understand why. The texture is soft and it’s extremely flavorful.
I decided to take kohlrabi and turn it into a kids dish by adding cheddar cheese and fresh herbs from my garden, similar to a macaroni-and-cheese recipe but without the pasta. For my herbs, I used chives and parsley, but you can certainly use any others that you prefer. If your kids don’t like onions, simply eliminate them, but I think the onion gives it just the right flavor.
Cheesy Kohlrabi with Fresh Herbs
Serves 4 (as a side dish)
2 cups of kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon of butter
Quarter-cup of onion, minced
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
Three-quarters of a cup of milk
1 tablespoon of herbs, such as chives and parsley
Half-teaspoon of salt
Dash of freshly cracked pepper
Half-cup of shredded cheddar cheese, with a bit more to sprinkle on top
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the kohlrabi in boiling water until it is fork tender and drain. Then, place it into a small, greased casserole dish. In a small, nonstick pan melt the butter over medium heat and add the onions. Once the onions are tender, blend in the flour and cook until mixture turns a light brown. Add the milk to create a roux and cook until the mixture is thick, whisking continually, about 3 minutes.
Once the mixture has thickened, add the herbs, salt, pepper and cheese, and stir. Once the cheese is melted, remove the pan from the heat and place the mixture into the casserole dish with the kohlrabi. Mix until the kohlrabi is evenly coated and sprinkle additional cheese on top.
Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes, or until it is bubbly and browned. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy.