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Passover Side: Cauliflower-Leek Kugel With Almond-Herb Crust

In honor of Passover starting on Monday, I thought a classic Jewish side would be appropriately timely. Kugel is generally served as a side dish on the Jewish Sabbath and is a baked pudding that can consist of potatoes, noodles, meat, or vegetables. The ingredients vary and a sweet version with raisins and spices is an equally delicious dessert. This kugel is a vegetarian, Kosher-friendly side that can be paired with brisket, lamb, or turkey for the traditional Seder dinner. Cauliflower serves as a pleasant, less starchy alternative to potatoes and the almond herb crust packs a special crispiness and flavorful bit to the topping. Already have your menu planned for Passover? Save this recipe for Hanukkah because it can be prepared in advance and feeds a crowd. To take a look at the components and instructions,

Cauliflower-Leek Kugel With Almond-Herb Crust
From Bon Appetit magazine

8 cups cauliflower florets (from 2 medium heads of cauliflower)
6 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
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup almonds, toasted, chopped

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal.
  4. Beat eggs, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon dill, salt, and pepper in small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.
  5. Brush 11x7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish.
  6. Mix almonds, remaining 7 tablespoons parsley, 7 tablespoons dill, and 2 tablespoons oil in medium bowl to blend.
  7. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  9. Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Serves 8.

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