SWEET POTATO AND SUMMER VEGGIE KUGEL

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 large leek, white and light green parts chopped (about 2 cups)

8 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoon butter

1 pound sweet potatoes, shredded (about 5 cups) on a box grater or in a food processor

1 small zucchini, shredded on a box grater or in a food processor

1 small yellow summer squash, shredded on a box grater or in a food processor

1 large onion, shredded on a box grater or in a food processor

½ cup cottage cheese

½ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup flour (or matzo meal if during Passover)

4 eggs

2 egg whites

1 ½ cups Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (or gouda, Gruyere, cheddar, etc…)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the leeks and garlic until soft and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.  Place them in a large bowl and set aside.

Cut the butter into pats and place in a 9” x 13” casserole dish.  Place the dish in the oven until the butter is melted and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes, while you prepare the vegetables.

Working in 3 batches, place the shredded potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, and onion in a large clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the vegetables.  I like working in batches as it is easier to squeeze out the juice…. or I have my husband do it in one fell swoop!  The goal is to get the shredded veggies as dry as possible so you don’t have a wet kugel.  Nobody likes a wet kugel!  Add the drained veggies to the leeks and stir to combine.

Add the cottage cheese, sour cream, baking powder, salt, pepper, and flour (or matzo meal) to the bowl and toss to combine.

Beat the eggs and egg whites in another bowl with an electric mixer for 3 full minutes on high until light yellow, frothy, and thickened.  Fold the eggs into the vegetable mixture until just combined.

Remove the pan from the oven and tilt so the hot butter coats the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides.  Pour the vegetable mixture into the hot pan and top evenly with the shredded cheese.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour until set in the center and golden brown.  Run a knife around the outside edge of the casserole and let cool slightly before cutting into squares.

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