Thursday, March 18, 2010

Banana-nut kugel for Passover

So here's the problem with sharing recipes for a holiday like Passover (Pesach) ahead of time: While I don't keep anything even resembling kosher during the bulk of the year, I do try to do something vaguely resembling kosher for Passover during those particular eight days. (It's my version of kosher for Passover, and it involves--essentially--my cleaning out our kitchen cabinets and putting all the chametz into our pantry where N can get to the things he can prepare for himself and the rest of us can ignore them entirely.) There's lots of stuff I don't do, but what I do do...well, I like to actually do that little bit "right." So I don't open the matzo or any of the other Passover staples until the last possible moment, generally the day of the first seder, when I'm preparing the meal. Which means that I also can't/won't make a dish several days ahead of time, photograph it for this blog, and freeze it to serve at my seder. Nor do I want to open my slated-for-Passover ingredients to use only a small amount of them, then throw the rest out.

And so, you get a stock photo of bananas, instead of a shot of what is seriously one of my and Em's favorite dishes, Passover or no. (I'll be making it not only during the eight days, but several times in the weeks and months after--no prohibition about using Passover foods after Passover.) But take our word for it: This is good stuff. I serve it as a side dish, but it verges on being dessert. And you definitely don't need to be Jewish to enjoy it.

Banana-Nut Kugel (adapted from a 1992 recipe my mom got off of her Prodigy--remember them? if you do, you're old like me--Food and Wine Club mailing list)

3 cups matzo farfel (or just take a few sheets of matzo and crumble 'em up, which is what I generally do, since farfel is just crumbled up matzo but costs like four times as much per ounce)
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 medium unripe bananas, sliced
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually go with walnuts for this one, but pecans work, too; though I'm usually an almond fan, I don't think they'd work so well here)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Put farfel in colander; run cold water over farfel; drain immediately. What you want is farfel that's moist, but not overly soggy.

3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with salt, sugar, and melted butter.

4. Add farfel and mix to coat.

5. Grease a baking dish. The recipe recommends a 1-1/2 quart dish; I just whichever one is clean and isn't too big for the job.

6. Spoon half the farfel mixture into a layer in the dish. Place sliced bananas over the mixture, then sprinkle nuts over the bananas.

7. Cover the bananas and nuts with the rest of the farfel mixture.

8. Bake uncovered at 350 for approximately 45 minutes, until set and lightly browned on top.

Incredible. Seriously. Try it.

(And, hey...While I'm not by any stretch of the imagination The Jew To Go To for information about my religion, I'm happy to try to answer any questions you might have about the various rituals and such around Passover. It's one of my favorite holidays--and yes, that's mostly because it's all about trying out and using recipes you pretty much ignore the rest of the year.)


  1. This sounds SO GOOD! Normally my big Passover dish is apple matzoh pudding, but I want to make this one too.

  2. I found a recipe for gluten free matzoh so I may have to try this! Oh, and, if you wouldn't mind...can you post a picture AFTER you make it for Passover? You know, so we can see what it's supposed to look like after we totally mangle it. ;-)

  3. I definitely will, Niksmom! Um, if I remember, I mean. ;-)

  4. I make a version of this every year. It is everyone's favorite dish.. and so simple to make.