Sephardic-Latino Mina for Passover

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  12 servings
Prep Time:  35 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Sephardic-Latino Mina for Passover

This mina, or lasagna-style pie, bursts with the vegetables of Latin America. Perfect for a midweek meal or as a vegetarian entree at a Sephardic or Mizrachi seder. Note that this particular recipe contains corn; corn is considered kitnyot, which may make this dish problematic for Ashkenazim.

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables:

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

3 large sweet potatoes (about 2½ pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

3 medium purple potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

2 large calabaza (pumpkin) or acorn squash (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into ½-inch dice

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 (10-ounce) package queso fresco

 

Sauce:

3  tablespoons coconut oil, melted

4 cups coconut milk

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons white vinegar

Leaves of 2 sprigs fresh marjoram or oregano

Leaves of 4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

¼ cup potato or tapioca starch

2 heads garlic, roasted and squeezed from its casing

2 cups corn kernels, frozen and defrosted or freshly scraped from the cob (see Kitchen Tips)

2 cups cooked, peeled fava beans

1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

 

Matzo Layers:

5 sheets matzo

5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 (10-ounce) package queso fresco, grated

1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper,optional

 

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables: Preheat the oven to 385°F. Line 3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the melted coconut oil onto each. Arrange the sweet potatoes on one tray, the purple potatoes on another, and the butternut squash on the third. Sprinkle each sheet of vegetables with 1 teaspoon salt and ⅓ teaspoon ground pepper and, using tongs, gently toss to coat. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork and they are browned on the edges. Set each sheet aside as the vegetables finish cooking, but leave the oven on. Once the vegetables are cooked, transfer to a large bowl, add half the cheese and fold to combine with a rubber spatula. Set aside.
  2. Heat  the remaining coconut oil in a large saucepan over high heat until hot. Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, vinegar, marjoram, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Transfer about 6 tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture to a small mixing bowl and whisk in the potato starch. Drizzle the liquid back into into the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook for 2 to 3 minutes and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the roasted garlic, corn, fava beans, and cilantro and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Assemble the mina: Spray a 9- by 14-inch lasagna pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Pour in 2 cups of the coconut sauce mixture. Rinse the matzo under cold running water for 5 seconds. Arrange some of the matzo in the lasagna pan atop the coconut mixture, breaking it at the perforations as necessary, so that it forms a single layer over the sauce. Scatter half the roasted vegetables evenly over the matzo and top with another 2 cups of the sauce. In the same manner, arrange another layer of matzo on top of the vegetables. Top the matzo with the remaining roasted vegetables, spreading them in an even layer, and cover with the remaining sauce. Scatter the remaining queso fresco over it and arrange the remaining matzo on top. Brush with the coconut oil and sprinkle with the cumin and cayenne.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the top of the mina is lightly browned.

Kitchen Tips

  1. To cut the kernels off a fresh ear of corn, shuck it well and place it on a work surface. Cut it in half crosswise. Stand it on the work surface, cut-side-down, and with a sharp knife, cut downward to remove the kernels.

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