Get your Passover Seder off to a healthy start with a flavorful root vegetable casserole.
We seasoned it with citrus and herbs and added a crumb topping. In keeping with the kosher for Passover rules, we used crushed matzo in place of the more traditional breadcrumb topping that goes with casseroles. Just a touch of oil helps to keep it crunchy.
We kept the vegetables moist with applesauce. If you don't have homemade applesauce, be sure to select a brand that is unsweetened. Not only will it be more nutritious, but many varieties of applesauce are sweetened with corn syrup, which is not kosher.
PASSOVER ROOT VEGETABLE CASSEROLE
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 red onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 pound carrots (consider using rainbow carrots), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1 pound celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh savory
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Salt and ground black pepper
5 matzos, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Heat the oven to 375 F. Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and saute until soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the onions and garlic with the sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, celeriac, applesauce, lemon zest, orange zest, thyme, savory and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat. Spoon into the prepared casserole dish.
In a small bowl, combine the crushed matzos with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the coriander. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle over the vegetable mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 170 calories; 40 calories from fat (25 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 270 mg sodium.
SWEET POTATO AND SAUSAGE
Start to finish: 1 hour (25 minutes active)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound loose Italian sausage meat
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 ounces (half a bottle) stout or other dark beer
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cool water
15-ounce can corn kernels, drained
8 1/4-ounce can creamed corn
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
Salt, to taste
Heat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a standard loaf pan.
Place the sweet potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over high, combine the olive oil, garlic and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, or until just tender.
Add the sausage, beef and pepper. Saute until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
In a small glass, mix the cornstarch with the cool water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the meat and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Spread the meat and onion mixture evenly in the loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix the corn kernels and creamed corn, then spread in an even layer over the meat. Set aside.
Once the sweet potatoes have cooked, drain and return them to the pot. Add the milk, butter and brown sugar, then mash the potatoes until smooth. Season with salt.
Spoon the potatoes evenly over the corn. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly browned at the edges.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 420 calories; 210 calories from fat (51 percent of total calories); 23 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 65 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 3 g fiber; 740 mg sodium.