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Sides, Vegetarian

Spiced cauliflower kugelettes

Spiced cauliflower kugelettes
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

What really makes the meals of Passover, which begins this year on Monday at sundown, different? It may not be what you think. The simple answer is found in Exodus 13:6-7: "For seven days you must eat matzos (unleavened bread).... ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes, plus cooling time | Serves 6 to 12
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, about 3 pounds
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste, plus more for sprinkling, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Paprika, for dusting

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Divide the cauliflower into medium florets; you should have about 12 cups.

Step 2Cut enough florets into one-fourth-inch thick slices (lengthwise through the stem), to make about 3 cups.

Step 3Line a baking sheet with foil. Put the cauliflower slices in the pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil and toss gently. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the slices over and roast them until tender, about 10 more minutes. Remove the slices from the pan, and set aside 12 slices to top the kugelettes. Chop the remaining slices.

Step 4Boil 6 cups water in a wide pot. Add a pinch of salt and the remaining cauliflower florets, adding additional water if necessary to come nearly to the level of the cauliflower. Return to a boil and cook, covered, over high heat until the cauliflower stems are very tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the cauliflower well and transfer it to a large bowl. Mash the cauliflower in batches using a potato masher, leaving a few small chunks.

Step 5Dry the pot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and turmeric, and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the mashed cauliflower and mix well. Add the chopped roasted cauliflower. Add three-fourths teaspoon salt, or to taste, along with the pepper and cayenne. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Step 6Thoroughly oil 12 one-half-cup muffin cups (preferably non-stick), using olive oil.

Step 7Add the eggs, matzo meal and cilantro to the cauliflower mixture. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cups, filling them to the top. Set a roasted cauliflower slice on each one. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Dust very lightly with paprika. Bake until the kugelettes are set and lightly browned, 22 to 25 minutes; a cake tester inserted in one should come out dry. Remove the kugelettes from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Step 8Run a thin knife carefully around the edge of each kugelette. With a thin rubber spatula, gently free each one from the bottom of the pan and remove it. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Note: Serve the kugelettes with the petite green salad.


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