Oberkrämer is a sleepy community of just over 10,000 residents in Brandenburg, approximately 25 miles Northwest of Berlin. It has the feel of an American suburb, with an independently owned, hexagon-shaped doner kebap stand instead of a drive-thru fast food franchise, and the logically well connected mass transportation access one expects to find near Germany’s capital city.
Like most communities within commutable distance from a major metropolis, Oberkrämer offers several affordable markets for convenient grocery shopping. I have to smile at how the produce section of each of these markets prominently features kohlrabi, a largely overlooked vegetable in the US. Germany grows more kohlrabi – and consumes more kohlrabi – than any other country in the world. My very German grandfather loves kohlrabi, and connecting with my German heritage is the reason I find myself here, so there you have it – we’re cooking up kohlrabi for dinner… but with what?
Cabanossi sausage! If you haven’t tried Cabanossi sausage before, you’re in for a treat. A mild, smoked sausage readily available throughout Germany as well as parts of the US, Cabanossi is seasoned with paprika and cured (like salami). Cabanossi is considered more versatile than salami, in that it is commonly enjoyed both hot (baked, roasted, or grilled) and cold (on charcuterie plates and in sandwiches). Today, we’re baking Cabanossi along with kohlrabi, potatoes, and a few mushrooms (optional) for a hearty, one dish dinner.
Ingredients (makes 4 main dish servings)
4 Cabanossi sausages (150 grams each)
3 large potatoes
1 large kohlrabi, leafy green top still attached
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
Step 1) Grease a large baking dish liberally with 2 tablespoons of butter. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2) Wash potatoes and cut into bite size chunks. Arrange potato pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes to par-bake (mostly, but not entirely, cook through).
Step 3) While potatoes are baking, cut leafy green top off of the kohlrabi bulb. Discard stems, and cut greens into 1 inch strips. Set aside. Peel kohlrabi bulb (the bottom) with a potato peeler, and cut the peeled bulb into bite size chunks. Set aside.
Step 4) Cut mushrooms into quarters. Set aside. Cut each Cabanossi sausage into three pieces. Set aside.
Step 5) Remove potatoes from oven. Arrange quartered mushrooms around the edges of the baking dish, and top mushrooms with kohlrabi greens. Arrange kohlrabi chunks in the center of the dish, and top everything with sausage.
Step 6) Place dish back in oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve while hot. Guten appetit!