cauliflower leek kugel with almond-herb crust


cauliflower, a long love of mine. unfortunately, growing up my mother used to give it to me in only one way, fried with beaten eggs. do not get me wrong, i still loved it, but i thought it was about time to start exploring this vegetable in different ways. one day after work, i wanted to make something quick, and healthy with cauliflower. i went straight to epicurious for that, my recipe bible. after a short search for cauliflower found what i was looking for. i followed most of the recipe except for few things; i felt that there was not enough topping mixture, so i doubled the quantities. i also had raw sliced almonds at home so i used those instead of whole almonds chopped. the kugel came out wonderful, it lacked some salt, but you can always add more later. the kugel lasted for almost a week in the fridge.
INGREDIENTS
8 cups cauliflower florets (from 2 medium heads of cauliflower)
7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (white and pale green parts; from 3 large)
6 tablespoons unsalted matzo meal
3 large eggs

1 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped, or sliced almonds toasted
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PREPARATION
Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat eggs, 2 tablespoon parsley, 2 tablespoon dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.
Brush 11×7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining parsley, dill, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
*easy
*Servings: Makes 8 servings

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