I think every vegan has a special friendship with Miss Isa. There's a reason Vegan With A Vengeance and Veganomicon are among the most recognizable vegan cookbook titles!
So here I go again. Another Vegan With A Vengeance recipe!
Cauliflower-Leek Kugel With Almond-Herb Crust Pg. 94
I decided to make this kugel for multiple reasons. 1) I am obsessed with cauliflower. 2) It's Jewish food! And therefore probably delicious and will bring me good feelings of nostalgia for a lot of my Florida friends! (Shaina, Jenjen, Megan, Ashley, and Brenda). They always went home for Passover and came back with stories of delicious foods they ate. I always got so jealous. 3) It seemed easy (I was wrong).
So the first thing I did was chop up the cauliflower heads and throw the florets into boiling water. I wanted my cauliflower to get nice and mush-able, because I was going to crush up the florets when they were done cooking.
After that, I crushed up two sheets of matzoh and used my hands to mash that in with some silken tofu. I read the recipe wrong, because you're actually not required to mash them together, but I did anyways. They would go together in a bigger mix later, so no harm no foul. :-D I also ate a sheet of matzoh while I was doing this...Shaina said it best when she said "It's so deliciously bland!" I've never liked something so much that had so little flavor.
After this loveliness, I was told I needed to dice up some onions and chop up some leeks.
I don't know about you, but I'd never seen a raw leek before. So I had no fucking clue how to cut these little bastards up. Do you keep the leaves? Do you chop off the root? Do you slice it from the middle? HOW DO YOU CLEAN SO MANY LAYERS?!
Apparently what you're supposed to do is chop it in half vertically and clean it that way. (Makes so much sense, now I feel stupid). Then you chop it however the hell you want, because you can use ALL of the leek. So I basically just took a knife and chopped the poor leeks into oblivion.
THEN YOU SAUTEE THE ONIONS AND LEEKS IN OLIVE OIL. Delicious-smelling. :-]
AFTER THAT, YOU PUT THE LEEKS/ONIONS INTO THE MASHED CAULIFLOWER, MIX IN THE TOFU AND MATZOH, THROW IN SOME SALT AND PEPPER, AND SOME CHOPPED FRESH DILL (FAVE) AND FRESH PARSLEY!
This big pile of deliciousness is then thrown into an oiled-up casserole dish.
On top of this scrumptious mess goes a delicious herby-almond crust. How do you make it? Well, you chop up an assload of fresh dill and fresh parsley....
Then you throw in some crumbled matzoh, chopped almonds, and some olive oil. It looks like this:
THEN YOU SPRINKLE THIS SHIT ON THE CAULIFLOWER FIESTA.
After it's done cooking, your whole apartment (or house, or dorm, or cardboard box) will smell like leeky cauliflowerness. I nicknamed my apartment the Leeky Cauldron-iflower for the afternoon, because I'm a nerd and sometimes I like to think I'm clever.
Anyways. When it's done, you cut out a chunk of kugel-casserole-ness and eat it. Duh.
Ease of preparation: 2/5
So much chopping, so many different steps. Took for-freaking-EVER. But at least the baking bit was easy. Throw it all together and stick it in the oven.
Smelled really good, but...it was really bland. I almost gave it only 2 stars, but I feel like it could be easily improved with some nutrtional yeast and maybe celery salt or paprika. It didn't taste BAD, don't get me wrong, it just wasnt anything to write home about.
In the casserole dish, it looks pretty. Especially if it's a glass one, so you can see the layers. But I mean, it's a casserole- it gets messy once you slap it on a plate.