Monday, October 24, 2011

A Priest and a Kohlrabi Walk Into a Bar...

While trying to figure out what on earth a kohlrabi was what to do with the kohlrabi we got in our CSA share, I came across this recipe, for what looks essentially like Parmesan-kohlrabi fries. It looked yummy and easy enough for me, so I flagged it. But when reading the comments, I was intrigued by an alteration, where she added ham, carrots and potatoes and baked them together in a casserole dish (rather than spread out on a baking sheet.) I decided that ham and potatoes would make it more of a meal than a side, and so decided to try it that way instead. With some last-minute alterations of my own...

Roasted Kohlrabi-Veggie-Ham Casserole (or, Random CSA Vegetable-Ham Casserole)
2 kohlrabi
2 large potatoes (roughly 1lb)
1 head cauliflower
2 c diced ham
2-3 tsp minced garlic (roughly 2-3 cloves)
1-2 carrots
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning (or seasoning of choice)
1 tsp each salt and pepper (add more or less, based on your tastes)
1/4 c (or less) grated or powdered Parmesan cheese
Potatoes, cauliflower, alien babies kohlrabi, carrots
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Step 1: Prepare veggies.
Peel kohlrabi (optional - I did) and cut into desired form. I used a mandolin to slice thinly, or you could dice into cubes, or into fries. It's very hard to cut through, so I would have used a knife rather than the mandolin if I didn't have one with a safety slider on it to protect my fingers.
Peel potatoes (optional - I didn't) and cube or cut into short fries.
Peel carrots (optional - I didn't) and cut into coins or desired shape.
Chop cauliflower florets into desired size. I went for bite-sized. I also added in some slices of the stems. (As you can see, I used purple cauliflower. It had weird blackish spots on the tops, so I used my knife to shave those off first.)

Step 2: In large bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and seasoning. Add in cut veggies and toss to coat.

Step 3: Combine veggie mixture and ham cubes in large casserole dish. Bake at 450 F for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Step 4: After 25-30 minutes of cooking time (and stirring one last time,) add Parmesan cheese over the top. (I added less than 1/4th cup.) May leave on top or mix in, as desired. (I mixed it in.) Cook 5 more minutes to brown.
I was worried that the cauliflower would either get mushy or burnt cooking that long, since the potatoes were still too raw for me after 20-minutes, but it all came out okay. You may not need to do all that stirring, but I prefer crispy to mushy, and figured it'd have a better chance to crisp if I stirred it up. If you prefer mushy/casserole-y, you could probably cover the whole thing and leave it alone, but cook it for less time.

Instead of kohlrabi (and cauliflower, for that matter,) you could add more potatoes, and/or sub in some small broccoli florets/coined stem bits. Another option would be to add grated cheese (Colby Jack, cheddar, whatever your preference) instead of or on top of the Parmesan.
The ham and Parmesan added enough salt you could easily use less to no table salt in the olive oil mixture.
If you leave out the ham, or substitute tofu (maybe add it later during the cooking process? I know nothing about cooking tofu,) this would make a very tasty vegetarian/vegan dish as well. (Obviously you'd leave out the cheese or use soy cheese or something. I don't know a lot about vegetarianism either.)

I liked it okay. Would prefer it without the cauliflower. But cauliflower is so mild it didn't ruin the flavor or anything. I just really liked the ham and potatoes part, and it was very cauliflower-heavy, since I used an entire large head. The kohlrabi and carrots weren't prevalent enough to annoy me. Very glad I decided to add the Italian seasoning. And it, with the ham, made the house smell divine!
Husband loved it. I'm not sure how much of his raving about it was to motivate me to cook again more regularly, but he had seconds.
Little Z wanted a tuna fish (and PICKLE!) sandwich instead, so I made her try one slice/chunk of each item. She liked the ham and potato, made no comment about the carrot, and made "BLEAH!" and gagging noises for 5 minutes after eating the kohlrabi and cauliflower (together as one bite.)

Update: After hounding Unka Seesee incessantly online so he'd be sure and try my food Unka Seesee got home from work (after Z's bedtime,) I buzzed out to the kitchen to catch him as he made his customary after-work meal. I practically shoved the container of leftovers at him suggested he try my veggie-ham casserole. He's been our primary dinner cook for the past three years, until he got this new job, and a lot of his recipes are trial-and-error/"let's see if this works out" kind of recipes, which is what I've been doing these past few meals.
He said it was really good. SUCCESS! It's one thing for my husband to say he likes something (he directly benefits from me being motivated to cook again. And he might be anglin' to "get some" at some point.) It's another for Seesee, who plans to move out soon, and who might never see any leftovers by the time he gets home from his late shift anyway.


  1. Yeah, my daughter also won't eat cauliflower. Then again, she won't eat pickles, either. Neither she nor I have ever tried kohlrabi - what does it taste like?

  2. My husband said it reminded him of potatoes, only different. Someone else said it was like a cross between a potato and an artichoke heart. I didn't really notice them, since the seasoning was so tasty, and their texture must have blended in nicely with the potatoes and ham.

  3. YUM! I love all the veggies in this. I am always looking for yummy, veggie packed meals. Perfect :)


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