Dairy-Free Kohlrabi Ham Bake
Have you ever wondered what to do with a kohlrabi? Perhaps you've seen it in the grocery store, received it in a CSA (community-supported agriculture) subscription box, or tried growing it in your garden. My first experience with kohlrabi was several years ago when I saw a packet of seeds at my local hardware store. I thought, "Why not try growing something new?" This vegetable was easy to grow, and by fall, my husband and I had several plants flourishing in the garden. After you clip the leaves off, you're left with a round, cruciferous vegetable with an uneven surface. I would compare kohlrabi's flavor to cabbage, turnips, or broccoli. There are several types of kohlrabi, and so far, we've grown purple and white varieties. I didn't notice a big flavor difference in either the white or purple.
I had to google "what do I do with kohlrabi?" because I honestly had no idea how to use this vegetable in a main dish. What came up repeatedly was a German casserole with kohlrabi and ham. Some versions used cheese, and thus turned the casserole into a gratin. We first tried the version with cheese, and it was fantastic! Bubbly, cheesy, salty, and savory. It was a yummy casserole on a chilly night.
Fast forward to this fall. I've got kohlrabi's growing in the garden, and was planning to make the casserole again, but wait. My husband and I are currently restricting dairy in an effort to eat more lean protein, vegetables, and beans. Was there a way to make this casserole without cream, milk, or cheese, and still taste good? You bet! A little improvisation goes a long way.
Note: The following recipe was adapted from Simply Recipes Kohlrabi Ham Bake, originally found in Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking.
Dairy-Free Kohlrabi Ham Bake
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 kohlrabi, diced
- 8 oz. thick ham, diced
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, dried
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and dice the kohlrabi into bite sized pieces. If it's fresh from the garden, clip the leaves off first.
- Dice ham into bite sized pieces.
- Melt 3 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet and saute the kohlrabi for about ten minutes, until mostly tender.
- Whisk the eggs together in a bowl.
- Mix the vegetable bouillon cube in 1/2 cup of hot water and let it dissolve.
- After the broth cools, add the broth, flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the eggs and stir.
- Put the diced kohlrabi and ham in the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish. We used a round Pyrex casserole dish, but an 8x8 would work too. If doubling the recipe, use a 9x13 casserole dish.
- Pour the broth mixture over the top and gently stir. Sprinkle with dried parsley.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. The center should be firm and not jiggly.
Start off by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees. Then peel and dice your kohlrabi. If it's fresh from the garden, clip the leaves off first! Dice into bite-size pieces. We used 2 medium sized kohlrabi.
Dice 8 oz. ham into bite size pieces and set aside.
Melt 3 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet and cook the diced kohlrabi. I sauteed the vegetable for about 10 minutes until mostly tender.
Whisk the eggs together in a bowl. Mix your vegetable bouillon cube in 1/2 cup of hot water and let it dissolve. After the broth cools, add the broth, flour, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to the eggs and stir. Make sure your broth is cool before you stir it into the eggs, or you might end up with slightly scrambled eggs!
Put the diced kohlrabi and ham in the bottom of an oven-safe baking dish. We used a round Pyrex dish, but a square 8x8 casserole dish would work too. Pour the vegetable broth mixture over the top and gently stir. Sprinkle the mixture with parsley.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. The center should be firm and not jiggly. Enjoy!