Kohlrabi, the scraggly looking, bulbous root vegetable, happens to be related to the cabbage family and tastes somewhere between broccoli stems and a mild radish. It's a great base to build flavor, like we did by pairing it with lots of garlic, creamy cashew milk and salty Parmesan.
Small kohlrabi bulbs have a sweeter taste and often crunchier texture, which is why we prefer them for this recipe. However, large ones work just as well—just be sure to make your slices bite size. If you find the bulbs with their leaves attached (sometimes hard in late winter, when they might have frozen off), substitute the two cups of spinach with two cups of roughly chopped kohlrabi leaves.
A cast-iron skillet is excellent for quick searing, giving the vegetables a little char without overcooking them, but a regular skillet works well, too.
To learn more, read "Top Brassica."
Creamed Kohlrabi and Spinach
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
3 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3 small kohlrabi bulbs (¾ to 1 pound), outer skin peeled and flesh thinly sliced into rounds
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 medium shallots—peeled, halved and thinly sliced
4 large garlic cloves—peeled, halved and thinly sliced
¾ cup cashew milk
12 packed cups spinach leaves
2 teaspoons lime juice
⅓ cup roasted cashews, chopped
½ cup finely grated shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 450°.
2. Cook the kohlrabi in 3 to 4 batches. In a large cast-iron skillet, add ½ teaspoon of the canola oil and place over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add a layer of kohlrabi and sauté, stirring sparingly, until the kohlrabi has softened and a few rounds are golden brown on the edges, 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and continue to cook the remaining kohlrabi (not adding any extra oil). Remove from the heat and season with the salt; set aside.
3. To the large skillet, add the remaining 2½ teaspoons of canola oil and return to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened and light golden brown, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown, 2 minutes more. Season with a pinch of salt and add to the bowl of kohlrabi.
4. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and deglaze with the cashew milk, cooking until reduced by about half, 3 to 5 minutes. Add half of the spinach leaves, flipping with the tongs to cook evenly until they begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining spinach and cook until most of the liquid has reduced and the leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the kohlrabi mixture and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt.
5. Evenly sprinkle the cashews over the kohlrabi-spinach mixture and top with the Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.