Originally grown in this country in the last century for cattle feed, kohlrabi is a strange-looking vegetable, like a purple-and green-tinted turnip with stalks growing out of it at random. It is, in fact, related more closely to a brassica. You want to buy them small, because the larger they grow the woodier they get. Kohlrabi makes an excellent gratin.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas 6. Choose an ovenproof dish
Put the cream in a bowl with the garlic and season with the salt and pepper. Stir in half the grated Parmesan.
Cut the kohlrabi in half and, with the flat surface downwards, cut it into slices. Put half the slices into the cream and turn them to coat. Remove them one at a time, allowing excess cream to drip off, and lay them in the dish overlapping in layers. Repeat with the second half Pour any remaining cream mixture over the top and scatter over the remaining grated cheese.
Bake for about 1 hour, when the surface will have glazed to a golden colour while the kohlrabi will have cooked all the way through to a creamy finish.
© 1998 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.