Kohlrabi, Baby Kale, and Parmesan Gratin
So, my garden is full of kohlrabi and kale. What to do? Make my all-time favorite side dish, gratin. A gratin is a dish that is topped with breadcrumbs and/or melted cheese, in a shallow baking pan and browned on top. It comes from the French word “gratter” meaning grate. Hence the grated cheese or breadcrumbs.
Kale is currently the darling of the healthy-food movement as well it should be. Don’t let the over-use of this vegetable make you shy away. Just use it occasionally and reap the nutritional rewards. The layering of this dish makes for an interesting bite. First, there is the creamy, lemon-scented kale followed by soft breadcrumb-cheese stuffing. Next is the slightly crunchy slices of kohlrabi topped by crunchy browned multi-grain breadcrumbs and cheese accentuated by the aromatic fresh marjoram. Say meltingly delicious!
6 to 8 servings
3 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided) plus extra for drizzling on top
1 ½ cup whole-grain stale bread, (coarsely processed in mini-processor) or panko
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
¼ cup shallot, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
8 ounces baby kale or spinach
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (divided)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 large kohlrabi, peeled, halved, thinly sliced on mandoline
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a shallow baking pan or ceramic pie pan with one-half tablespoon of the oil. Remove the crusts from the stale bread. Cut the bread into small cubes and pulse in a mini-food-processor until coarse crumbs.
2. Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, and marjoram together in another bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large wok or shallow sauce pot heat two tablespoons of the oil. When the oil shimmers add the shallots and sauté until tender, about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the kale to the pan and toss until wilted. Toss in one teaspoon salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Taste, Think Transform with salt and/or lemon juice. Transfer to the oiled baking pan and smooth evenly over the bottom. Top with one-half of the breadcrumb mixture.
4. Toss the kohlrabi slices with one tablespoons of the oil, one-half teaspoons salt, and black pepper. Layer the slices over the kale slightly overlapping each slice. Top with the remaining breadcrumb mixture. Lightly drizzle with extra olive oil.
5. Place in the preheated oven. Bake for thirty minutes or until the kohlrabi is fork tender and the bread crumbs a dark brown.
6. Remove from the oven and let sit for ten minutes before serving.