A healthy vegetable casserole fit for Passover

ALISON LADMAN For The Associated Press Published:

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.

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PASSOVER ROOT VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)

Servings: 12

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.