Passover dinner can be tricky — but often less so because of the dietary restrictions and more about getting the meal timed right for the Seder. You don’t want to have to do any actual cooking left to do by the time the Seder allows all those famished faces to finally eat — you need to get food to the table as quickly as possible.
That makes vegetable cookery tricky. Most vegetables suffer: they become parched and dry and woefully overcooked while they wait for their turn at the table. The solution is a vegetable casserole that allows the natural sweet vegetable flavors to come through, but can withstand long, slow exposure to heat.
Bake this vegetable kugel entirely in advance a day or two ahead if you like, and keep it covered in the refrigerator. If your Seder tends to be an hour or two, transfer it directly from the refrigerator, covered with foil, to a very low oven (200 to 250 degrees) just before you sit down. For shorter Seders, bring the casserole to room temperature before placing in the low oven to warm.
Vegetable Passover Kugel
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups chopped onion (about 4 medium onions)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound sweet potato, peeled
1 pound russet potato, peeled
1 pound zucchini
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup matzo meal
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 11- by 7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and very soft, about 15 — 18 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, use a food processor with a grating blade or box grater to shred the sweet potato, russet potato and zucchini. Stir in the beaten eggs, remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, matzo meal, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. When the onions are cooked, stir those in. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
4. Bake in the center of the oven 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the top is browned. Cut into squares to serve.