Dauphinoise is the perfect comfort food on a cold, autumn night. It’s a French recipe for sliced potatoes layered in a dish and then baked with garlic, butter and cream until it develops a deliciously caramelised top. As always I like to make a classic dish much healthier – we’ve replaced half the cream with a nutrient-dense, homemade bone broth and swapped the high-starch potato for something more unusual – the delicious Kohlrabi.
Kohlrabi is a comical looking, pale-green or purple bulbous vegetable with leafy stalks that sprout from the top and sides. Easily mistaken for a root vegetable, it is actually related to the cabbage family (including kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower) whose phytochemicals are highly regarded for their antioxidant properties. It has a healthier nutrient profile than potatoes and gram-for-gram only one third of a potato’s carbs, giving it a lower glycaemic index.
Kohlrabi has been in season since July and I’ve been grating this crisp and juicy vegetable raw into salads and stir fries. Look for small bulbs (they are tastiest at around 8cm-12cm) and don’t throw away the leaves, treat them as you would kale – two vegetables in one! When cooked, the flavour becomes sweeter and more reminiscent of an artichoke/potato hybrid – perfect for giving a lighter touch to this dish. Be sure to peel the kohlrabi twice to reach the light layer of crisp flesh as there is often a fibrous layer under the skin that does not soften up once cooked. Kohlrabi will be around until the end of November and we’ll be making plenty of this dish or serving it as a mash. Like potatoes, kohlrabi has a high water content so you can even make kohlrabi chips!
At EATWELL I don’t count calories – I focus on real, nutrient-dense food. I love eating quality butter and cream in moderation – but I make sure that it is full fat and from animals that were raised on pasture, organically, as nature intended. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is regarded as a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder and immunity booster. As a rule of thumb, the higher the fat content, the lower the lactose content of dairy products – so many people find cream, butter (and cheese) easier to digest than milk and low-fat dairy.
So, cook up kohlrabi dauphinoise for some friends and introduce them to the delights of a new vegetable. Serve it piping hot from the oven with a peppery watercress and tomato salad to cut through the richness. Comfort food has never been so good for you!
(use organic/natural ingredients where possible)
Serves 4 people with a side salad
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
2 medium onions, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons worth of thyme leaves
250ml of homemade bone broth or water (see how to make the broth here)
100ml of organic double cream or sour cream
700g kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into thin 2 mm rounds (use a mandolin if you have one)
2 large handfuls of autumn greens eg kohlrabi leaves, kale or beetroot leaves
A large pinch of sea salt and pepper
Optional: ¼ teaspoon nutmeg or a teaspoon of lemon zest (careful to only zest the yellow rind, as the white part is bitter)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Gently fry the onions and thyme in ghee on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and bring to the boil then reduce to medium and add the cream, salt and pepper.
- Add the roughly chopped leaves and turn off the heat (the leaves will wilt in the residual heat).
- Grease a baking dish with butter or ghee then scatter over the grated garlic.
- Lay the kohlrabi slices in the casserole, overlapping slice slightly – depending on the size of your baking dish, you may make 3 or 4 layers.
- Cover the layers with the cream sauce and bake for 40 minutes (halfway through use a spatula to compress the top layers to prevent them from drying out).
- After the dauphinoise has baked for 40 minutes turn up the heat to 190C for a further 20 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling and the kohlrabi is tender.