BM# 74: Week 1/ Day 2
Theme: Are you Pudding Me??
Dish: Cauliflower & Leek Kugel
Today I have a savory pudding called Kugel for this week’s ‘Are you pudding me??’ theme. Kugel is a Jewish baked pudding or casserole and is most commonly made with egg noodles or potato. Here I have a vegan recipe which uses silken tofu for binding instead of eggs and is made with cauliflower and leeks. Kugels can be made both as sweet or savory. Savory kugels are usually based on potatoes, matzah, cabbage, zucchini, spinach or cheese. This vegan recipe is from the cookbook Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra. I have had this recipe bookmarked to try for a very long time and finally got around to making it. Matzah aka matzo is a Jewish unleavened flatbread that is crispy and resembles a cracker. Matzo is ground up to fine crumbs and used in the pudding to give it some structure. It is also broken into big pieces and sprinkled on the top for texture. If you can’t find matzo, then replace it with oyster crackers or regular soup crackers.This pudding is packed with fresh dill and parsley making it very flavorful and aromatic. Silken tofu acts as a binder and the pudding bakes up beautifully. Mashed cauliflower makes this a very healthy dish without adding too many calories. Serve the dish hot from the oven for the best taste.
Cauliflower Leek Kugel (Savory Jewish Pudding)
- 2 cups Cauliflower florets (half of a medium head)
- 1½ Whole Matza/ Matzoh crackers
- 6 oz. Silken Tofu
- 1 Medium Leek, both white and green parts chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp Dill, chopped
- To Taste Salt Pepper
- ¼ cup Sliced Almonds, toasted and chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8" square or a 1~1.25 quart baking pan.
- Steam, boil or microwave the cauliflower until very tender. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash coarsely with a fork or a potato masher.
- Crumble 1 sheet of matzoh into a food processor and process to crumbs. Set aside.
- Blend the tofu until smooth.
- Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan, add the leeks, onions and garlic (if using) and saute till the leeks are tender and onions are translucent, about 6~8 minutes.
- Add the leek mixture to the cauliflower. Mix in the matzoh crumbs and the pureed tofu, along with 1tbsp each of parsley and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the cauliflower mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish.
- Mix the remaining herbs with the chopped almonds. Mix well.
- Crumble the remaining ½ matzoh into large crumbs and add the remaining 1tbsp olive oil, Mix well.
- Sprinkle the almond-herbs mixture and the cumbled matzoh mixture evenly over the cauliflower mixture.
- Bake for 30~35 minutes or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.