passover cauliflower leek kugel with herb almond crust
Has anyone made this recipe before from Epicurious? If so, do you think it would still work well without the almonds, a family member of mine has nut allergies. Also, can I make it the day before, and reheat it the next day? I'm new at kugels, and especially this one!
Yes, it's very nice! It would probably be fine without the nuts-- maybe you could reserve an individual serving in a separate little baking dish and make the rest with the nuts? It's certainly better with the nuts...
Make sure to cook the cauliflower in generously salted water and then drain very thoroughly so it's not soggy; I find that the recipe definitely takes the amount of salt listed (I usually cut down, but this recipe gets rather bland without) I also find that the tastiness of supermarket cauliflower varies quite a bit; if the cauliflower is bland, any cauliflower-themed dish is doomed :)
You might even consider tossing it with olive oil and salt and roasting it. (I've recently been in love with the roasted "cauliflower with mustard lemon butter" recipe, also on epicurious)
It does work to make ahead and reheat, or use the recipe instructions to pre-assemble and then bake later. If I'm making it for a context where it doesn't have to be pareve, I use part butter and part olive oil (and some grated parmesan in the topping is good)
Re. boiling veggies. I always steam veggies, sometimes even in the microwave, instead of boiling them up in a big pot of water. I have always found that steaming works just as well, saves time and, in theory, vitamins and minerals that are water soluable. Also cuts down on sogginess (sp.?)
Is there a reason why boiling might be better than steaming?
You're right, more nutrients should be preserved by nuking or steaming, and for cauliflower, it should work OK. For some types of greens or cabbage relatives, I find that they can be a bit bitter, especially very early in the season (kale, but also some cabbages like bok choy) and boiling takes away not only some of the vitamins, but also the bitterness. So I guess it's a compromise-- a more mild flavor for those who don't like the bitterness or strong taste, but also more time-consuming and less nutritious.
I made this 2 years ago and everyone (including me) really liked it. I made it a day ahead and reheated it in the oven.
I think it would be fine without the nuts.
Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I ended up making the kugel without any nuts, and it was really delicious. I doubled the recipe for a large crowd, so I was chopping, boiling, and sauteeing for a very long time, but it was worth it. I substited some of the leek for onion, and the flavor was perfect. I did generously salt the water for boiling, and drained very thoroughly as suggested. I personally didn't miss the nuts at all, and people seemed to really like the dish. My husband, in fact, used some leftovers to insert into a feta omelette the next day and was very happy! I would make this dish again for sure, and not just for Passover.