We made this kugel for the first time four years ago. At that time, I was in my ninth month, and had just finished turning over the kitchen for Pesach (Passover), when I went into labor two weeks early. The baby was born (at home, as planned), and after the kids finished holding and cooing over him (that took a couple of hours!), my older daughters (then ages 9 and 11) asked me for the list I had prepared the night before. On it, I had made lists of food we’d need to make for the shalom zachor if we had a boy, as well as other Pesach foods.
They went right into the kitchen and together with their 12 year old brother, got busy cooking for our shalom zachor that was held the next night, and continued to do the cooking for the bris, which was held in our home the first day of Pesach. They did an incredible job – I didn’t do anything but answer questions when they periodically came in to my room to ask about how to prepare something.
This was one of the dishes they made for the bris – it’s not only visually appealing, but everyone who tasted it loved it! I slightly adapted the recipe from Passover Seders Made Simple, by Zell Schulman (she uses margarine, matza meal, egg substitute, and sugar). It’s a little labor intensive since each layer has to be prepared separately, but I maximize the time spent by preparing several times the recipe – it’s not much work to make a much larger recipe than to make just one.
Three Color Vegetable Kugel
- 1 lb cauliflower, steamed until soft
- 1 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cooked until soft
- 1 lb carrots, sliced
- 1 lb yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 c. orange juice
- 12 oz broccoli, chopped and steamed until soft (spinach is also good)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 t. cumin
- 1/4 t. tumeric
- 1/2 t. nutmeg
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 T. potato starch (or arrowroot, if you’re not making it for Passover)
- 6 eggs
Put carrots and yams in a pot with the orange juice and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. Drain.
Saute the onion and garlic in oil and saute until the onion is translucent. If you have a food processor, process the cauliflower and 1/2 of the cooked potatoes together until somewhat smooth; if you don’t, then mash them as well as you can with a fork or potato masher. Add 1/2 the sauteed onions and garlic, cumin, tumeric, and 1/2 T. potato starch, and process a little more. Add 2 eggs to the food processor and process for 1 minute, then add salt and pepper to taste. This will be your first layer – pour it into loaf pan (9 “x 5 1/2″ x 3”) lined with parchment paper or make sure it’s greased well. It should fill the pan about a third of the way; smooth the top.
Now take the cooked carrots and yams and put them in the (rinsed out) food processor. Process, then add cinnamon and nutmeg. Add 2 eggs and process again. Add 1 T. potato starch, process. Pour this mixture on top of the potato mix in the pan, and smooth the top again.
Rinse the food processor container again. Put the steamed broccoli, the remaining half of the cooked potatoes, and the other half of the sauteed onions and garlic into the processor, and blend. Add 2 eggs, process for a minute, then add 1 T. potato starch and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse one more time. Pour the broccoli layer on top of the carrot layer and smooth it evenly. Now you’ve finally finished with the food processor and can wash it and put it away.
Cover the pan of kugel lightly so that it’s still open at the edges (you don’t want it to brown on top but you don’t want it to steam, either), and bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. This refrigerates well, and should be sliced and reheated before serving.
I don’t usually buy any exciting spices for Passover since I know I won’t really use them, so when I make this for Passover, I don’t use cumin, tumeric, or nutmeg. It’s still delicious! Just be sure to add enough salt and pepper so it won’t be bland. Also, if it seems like you need more thickener for any given layer, you can increase the potato starch – if that’s necessary will depend somewhat on how well-drained your veggies are.