A few months ago The Fella and I were visiting my Cousin and her family for dinner. My Cousin served a vegetable and potato kugel as a side dish. Unbelievably, I had never had kugel before. I fell in L-O-V-E with this kugel. My cousin was so nonchalant. Kugel was nothing special, an everyday dish in her mind. But to me, a new delight had been discovered! She shared her recipe with me which is really a recipe for potato kugel with vegetables substituting some of the potatoes. I adapted her recipe to use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes, but I kept the basic structure of her recipe the same. I also did a little research on kugel and found that savory is not the traditional vibe for kugel. Most kugels seem to be made with noodles and fruit. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I may have to taste a noodle kugel before I try making it myself.
My Grandma made this hearty pasta dish often when I was growing up. Grandma Laciura was Dutch-American but she was raised in a poor Italian neighborhood in New Jersey and she married my Grandfather who was pure Sicilian. Italian food was all that she knew how to make. She was a great Italian cook! When I was a teenager I asked her to teach me how to make a few of her basics.
This dish is inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegan Kitchen. Of course, I’m posting my slightly different take on the recipe. Mainly, I was out of coriander and had to work with ingredient amounts I had on hand rather than the exact ammounts called for in the original recipe. Also, the original recipe merely suggests the addition of black beans whereas I feel the addition of black beans is key to making this not only a delicious side dish but a complete protein that could stand alone as a one dish meal.
I just love the way elements of sweet, savory and spicy play out in this dish. The pineapple is not overpowering but just sweet enough. I cannot wait to try this with the coriander and cayenne added in. I think this would be a great side dish with grilled or roasted pork.