Cauliflower Leek Kugel with Almond Herb Crust

A Few Words…

Every year I look at my Passover Seder menu and try to change it up a little bit by adding a new dish. None of my dinner guests care, but I do! And while I am so impressed by friends of mine who are opting out of chicken soup and replacing it with a pureed sweet potato and vegetable soup, there’s no way I could pull that off in my house!!

So, I keep the traditional ‘staples’ and instead I change up my side dishes. I stumbled upon this recipe a few years ago, tweaked it slightly and it’s become a hit in my house! The fresh herbs really add to the flavor of the cauliflower and give it a little bit of an oomph! This really is a nice addition to your meal and a healthy one at that!

Cauliflower Leek Kugel with Almond Herb Crust

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  • 8 cups cauliflower florets (from 2 medium heads of cauliflower)
  • 6 tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped leeks (approx. 4 leeks)
  • 6 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds

Cook the cauliflower in large pot of boiling water until tender, about 10- 15 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the minced garlic for 30 seconds and then mix in the leeks. Sauté until the leeks are soft and golden in color, about 10–15 minutes. Add the leek mixture to the cauliflower. Mix in the matzo meal. Add the salt and pepper to the eggs and beat in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the cauliflower and mix well. Stir into the cauliflower mixture 2 tablespoons each of the chopped parsley and dill.

Brush a 9 x 13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon (or less) of olive oil or use a non fat cooking spray. Spread the cauliflower mixture evenly in the prepared dish.

Heat a clean pan on medium heat and toast the almonds. Watch the pan so the almonds don’t burn.  Shake a few times until they turn a little golden, this should take just a few minutes. Mix the toasted almonds with the remaining parsley, dill, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over the kugel. You can prepare it until this point and bake it later on in the day if you want to serve it fresh or bake it a few days before and then reheat.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the kugel uncovered until set in center and brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.