Kohlrabi Gratin


Kohlrabi Gratin (In memory of Mutti)

When I woke up this morning I, at first, was a little bit ‘confused’; for a couple of minutes I believed it was still in the middle of the night.
Instead of bright sunshine finding its way into the house it was like I was back in England – dark, gloomy and wet!!!

Looking out of the window I found:
Sky as dark as a sky gets when ready to burst open and pours rain down on us.
Clouds hanging so low that one can easily imagine being able to touch them.
Cooler climate, less daily use of A/C’s or Fans in the house and offices.
All this and much more goes with the momentary season here and what is known as


All this made me change my mind in the last minute what to post this time.

For the past few weeks I wanted to post a few dishes from my home country, Germany, especially using some of my late mother’s recipes. Although she was an average cook (but a very good and keen baker) who kept very few recipes written down (hence the reason why I have to make most of her dishes from memory with a few of my own in-puts here and there) she always brought food, including vegetables, to the table which as a child I hardly ever disliked and in fact have still very fond memories of, even today. Her food was simple, nothing too fancy, and by today’s standards certainly not highly photogenic, but always delicious – mainly great comfort food!


So todays dish for example would be something she would quickly make in the morning before going to work and all it needed later was appr. 30 minutes in the oven to heat through.

Thanks Mutti – I know we both liked this casserole! Especially on a miserable rainy day.

Kohlrabi Gratin

I used 2 separate bowls this time since in one I added Chilli for Jo, but not in mine.


So, for those 2 dishes I used the following:
4 x medium sized onions, peeled, cut into fairly thin slices
6 x medium Kohlrabi, peeled, cut into fairly thin slices
4 x potatoes, peeled, cut into fairly thin slices
1 x tub of pre-washed Spinach, just over 2 hand full
1 x + Tbsp dried Thyme (if you can get fresh, use this)
200 ml Vegetable Stock (from a cube)
¾ of a small tetra pack of double cream, (app. 200 ml)
2 x tsp of sunflower oil
A generous lump of butter
Salt, pepper and nutmeg (use to your own liking)

For the topping:

Simple: I just put 3 x slices of bread, grated cheese (I had to use Mozzarella, nothing else here)
(Any hard cheese like sharp Cheddar is good), 1 x small sprinkling of Paprika (hence the colour of the gratin), a little bit of softened butter into my Mixy and blitzed this for a few seconds– ready!!

How to make:


Take a wide pan or wok (so useful), add oil and butter, and let it foam on medium heat only. When it’s done add all the onions and sauté those gently, with a pinch of salt, for maybe 10 minutes until they slightly change colour.


Now add the kohlrabi, potatoes and thyme and, best with 2 spoons, mix carefully. Add more salt and black- (or white) pepper. Cover with lid and continue cooking for 5 or so more minutes.


Add cream and stock, cover again, and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. When liquid has reduced a bit add spinach. Stir once more carefully, cover with lid, switch off heat and move container to side.

Preheat oven to app. 190 C, butter lightly your casserole dish or 2 smaller ones, as I did, and fill them with the cooked mixture.
Top all this with the cheese/breadcrumbs- mixture made earlier.

Put dish or dishes on baking tray and continue baking the gratin in the oven. Keep a watchful eye on this, oven heat various and you do not want a burnt gratin.

That’s it really but do take time to read my notes:

In the distant past I also have used medium sized individual ramekin dishes for lunch- or dinner parties and they were always a great success.


Mutti sometimes added sliced sausages (anything she had in her kitchen at that moment, i.e. Frankfurter’s, Fleischwurst, Ham etc.)
Don’t skimp on the cream here, using just milk will not do, it will be bland.
Of course you can use as much or little of the 3 main ingredients as you wish.
Glamorous for a photo session this dish might not be, but it is nevertheless a good, satisfying comfort dish!

Guten Appetit!


53 thoughts on “Kohlrabi Gratin

    • Like so many people you too obviously never tried this vegetable. Why not? I really urge you to try this one (I will bring a few more kohlrabi recipes in the near future), but a tip: only buy small to medium sized ones, the bigger ones tend to have a woody bit inside, cut it out and discard, but the little ones you can even eat raw. Let me know, please, when you have tried 🙂 🙂

  1. Oh Carina, welche schöne foto 🙂 ! I called my Mom ‘Muti’ also but we spelled it with a single ‘t’ in the Baltics! And mine did her hair the same way too . . . memories!! Have always loved kohlrabi and still reach for it whenever I can find. Your recipe is more interesting than the few I have, so guess what!!!!! Wirklich ‘guten Appetit’ 🙂 !!

  2. Guten Morgen, liebe Eha 🙂 – your comment was the first I saw when I woke up this morning. I am so glad to read that you like ‘my’ Mutti’s Gratin. Is it not funny that soooo many people either never heard of this knobbly delicious vegetable nor tried it. Any idea why? Eha, have to rush finishing my long promised letter to you 🙂 :). Baltics!!!??? Tschuess bis spaeter.

  3. The only time I’ve eaten kohlrabi has been in salads – a Vietnamese salad with finely grated kohlrabi, grated carrots, mint and lime juice, and an apple and kohlrabi salad which my daughter makes (I think she got the recipe from an in-law in Australia).
    Its too hot here in BJ for comfort food right now, but come the winter I shall definitely make it.

    • 🙂 🙂 it’s too hot here normally too, but yesterday was such a dark gloomy day it just felt right to make this. For a salad like your V. salad, I dont grate but take trouble of cutting everything into matchstick size, your daughters version is very popular in Germany. Soon I will bring some more from Mom’s kitchen 🙂

  4. Great – it is so good to learn new ways of using a vegetable, specially one that I am not so familiar with….and here in China there are lots of veggies I have never encountered before! Stem lettuce (called ‘wo ju’ is one of them) is now being grown in California where they call it ‘Celltus’. I love it. think I should do a post in my blog about it.

  5. Oh I absolutely agree with you – you should blog about this new vegetable. I do get stopped in our Hypermarket and frequently asked “what do you do with this….” (whatever ‘strange’ fruit or vegetable I pick up, but then I do just the same whenever we travel; I ask the locals! How will we otherwise learn :).

    • good morning Suzanne and Percy, of course, thank you for looking in. Thanks for the compliment and yes…..he was a nice Teddybear! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Back in England my kitchen companiens were called “Hasso” (the Aristocrat) and Axel (The Thug) – they were the most loveable and beautiful red & tan longhaired Miniature Dachshunds – but sadly, they too have crossed that rainbow bridge you mentioned in your own “About”. So please, do give Percy a hug from me, too. Ciao Carina

    • Oh Gerlinde, sorry to hear about your Mom! Ich hoffe ich habe keine zu grosse Wunde aufgerissen. But you see, you just have another nice memory and btw, Mutti also made Kohlrabi mit Fleischkloeschen (or Wurst or Schinken) or whatever was at hand. It also goes well with ‘Hamburgers’.

    • Like you, Sheryl, I too like eating a small!!! (tender) kohlrabe peeled and cut into matchsticks raw sometimes – really delicious, nutty.
      Do try this Gratin and see how you like it – it has always been a welcomed “german” addition at certain “Ladies Luncheon” in the countries I have lived. And there will be some more kohlrabi recipes from Mutti’s Kitchen coming here – so do keep looking! 🙂 Enjoy your Sunday.

  6. “Instead of bright sunshine finding its way into the house it was like I was back in England – dark, gloomy and wet!!!” —I like that , so true! Hehe. That Kohlrabi Gratin looks delicious. Yes, Mutti did always lovely things for us too and it is good to make them and let some memories come back. Eating and enjoying it with memories. Lovely. I like Kohlrabi raw, always did, don’t find it often here to buy in the supermarkets, unless I get it from an organic farmer. Have a lovely Sunday even if it is gloomy! 🙂

    • Hallo liebe Ute. Thanks for being here today. Like you, I too often eat one of the small tender kohlrabis raw just as a snack to munch on. Love that slight nutty taste. Actually our Sunday was less rainy but with some sunshine instead – nothing like friday, when I posted this.
      Bis bald, hoffentlich! Sag mal, wo genau bist Du, i.e. in welchem Land? Tschuess:) 🙂

  7. I’ve only seen kohlrabi at farmer’s markets when we lived up north, I don’t know if farmers are growing it here in Florida. If I see it, I definitely have to try your gratin. Love the photo of you and your bear with your Mutti.

    • Karen, happy you like the photo especially my Mr. Bear! long since gone, I am afraid. The other thing is I do not have many photographs, so this one is even more precious. Have a good week ahead and I have a small idea, why not print some pictures of kohlrabi and actually SHOW to your farmers – you never know, they might be able to help. Good luck! 🙂

  8. I’ve never actually tasted kohlrabi, Carina, but it looks tasty enough. That’s a really lovely photo of you and Mam. You mentioned hospital on mine- nothing major, I hope? 🙂

    • Hallo Jo, thanks for the compliment 😃 sadly this is one of the very few photos I have left. If you happen to like vegetables then I highly recommend buying a couple of kohlrabi and try them out – you might ending up liking them. They are highly nutritious, but outside Germany still very underrated. Yes was a few days in ICU pumped full with antibiotics and oxygen I am now resting at home a few more days..😃

  9. What a great portrait from childhood. I’m sorry to see in your comment above that this is one of the very few photos you have left.

    As I’m mostly vegetarian, your mother’s dish looks yummy to me. I’d never heard of kohlrabi when I was growing up, but over the last decade or two kohlrabi has become available in the United States in the fancier supermarkets.

    • Thank you Steven. Yes sadly, firstly Mom never had many photos and secondly, living around the world as I did, quite a few things got lost in transit and,/or storage. Re kohlrabi, this is quite a common and inexpensive vegetable in Germany. And btw, I am trying to bring more vegetarian recipes, so maybe I can interest you in something along the way!? 😃😃

  10. I had never heard of Kohlrabi so I googled it. Sounds like something I would eat especially as part of a Gratin, yum! Apparently it is in season in Australia between June and August, will have to keep my eyes open and see if I can find some. Thank you Carina, it is good to learn something new each day 🙂

    • Hi, 😃😃😃 I am smiling reading your various comments first thing in the morning. Yes, I do know from other Australian friends that you can get this vegetable there, too – so no excuse whatsoever😉😉 we in Germany and here in our own kitchen in India we have lots of other usage for this vegetable, all delicious.

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