I love cauliflower. It’s a beautiful and humble vegetable. But I’m not one to replace things that are already good with cauliflower — I believe it shines brightly on its own and should be celebrated as the star of a dish, not as a low-calorie substitute. What I mean is: I’ll always choose cauliflower with rice over cauliflower rice.
There are some cases, however, where a replacement that happens to be low-calorie is just as good as the original. Take kugel — a classic winter warmer that feels like a cozy hug from grandma. But if it’s not your grandma making it for you, insisting you eat it because you look too thin, it can be rather guilt inducing. That’s why I’m making an exception for cauliflower kugel — not because I’m against potato or noodle kugel, but because cauliflower kugel stands on its own as a really delicious, lighter option that doesn’t compromise on comfort or flavor.
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium cauliflower (approx. 750-850g)
- 5 eggs
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2/3 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.
- Remove any tough, blemished outer leaves from the cauliflower and discard. Cut off the tough, round stem at the bottom of the cauliflower and discard. You can keep the softer, smaller leaves for the kugel. Wash the cauliflower well in a bowl of warm water 3-4 times to remove any unwanted dirt. Dry well.
- Slice the entire cauliflower very thinly (approx. ¼ inch). Most of it should crumble into small pieces, but you should have some beautiful thin slices of cauliflower that have held their shape, too. Reserve a few slices for the top of the kugel.
- Combine the onion and crumbled cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Mix the eggs and 2/3 cup olive oil along with the black pepper, sea salt, and paprika in another small mixing bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the cauliflower mixture and mix well, so the cauliflower mixture is thoroughly coated in the liquid. Mix in the reserved smaller cauliflower leaves.
- Transfer to a 7″ x 10″ baking dish. Nestle the reserved thin slices of cauliflower on top. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 410 degrees F or until golden. Then cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and lower the temperature to 320 degrees F. Bake for another hour and 10 minutes. Enjoy hot, or store in the refrigerator and reheat for up to 4 days.