Upside-down vegetable towers

By | October 11, 2011

If you’re looking for a veggie dish to add to your Succos table, I highly recommend upside-down vegetable towers. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. The concept is this: Saute vegetables, pour a quick bread batter on top, then invert after baking. Ta-da!

The day I tried this recipe for the first time was the day we had our kitchen cabinets mounted on the wall. It was a Friday, of course, and I was trying to cook for Shabbos without access to my counters and sinks. Which by the way, are tiny to begin with.

See, we live in a caravan, and there isn’t a whole lot of room for the kitchen. And no, our shchuna (neighborhood) of 12 caravans is not like a trailer park. Really!

For those of you not acquainted with yishuv life, a caravan is a pre-fabricated home that is in many ways like any other small apartment. In fact, it’s not much smaller than our first apartment, and is completely adequate for our needs. We even have a second bedroom, which in Israel is considered a step up. (There are many large, beautiful, permanent homes on the yishuv, too. Just for the record.)

On the outside, our caravan looks like a white box. And when we moved in, that was pretty much what we got. There was the space below the sinks for kitchen storage, along with the drawers for silverware and utensils. But for Major Storage Space, we really needed those kitchen cabinets.

If you’re curious as to why anyone would want to live in a white box, let me just say that I actually prefer it to a regular apartment. Each time I walk down the hill towards home, I see the rolling mountains of Eretz Yisrael with our cluster of caravans seemingly plopped down out of nowhere. My heart sings! My soul flies! I’m not a hippie type, but seriously. Is this yishuv ha’aretz, or what?

(This is not at all meant to discount from the many other wonderful communities in Israel. They are all special, and all needed. I’m just obssessed with our yishuv.)

Back to the upside-down vegetable towers.

The vegetable base is fairly flexible. I used onions, mushrooms, a red pepper, corn, a carrot, and scallions for a variety of colors, but you can play around with it based on what you’ve got in your veggie bin.

The quick bread batter was what initially appealed to me about this recipe. I had recently discovered quick breads in the form of the sweet maple oat raisin one I had taken to eating for breakfast, so I wanted to see what a savory one would be like.

It was good. Real good.

Just a word about the inverting step: You are liable to lose some vegetables in the flip-over. Don’t lose heart. It just means you have a little something to snack on while you’re cooking.


Malka on October 11, 2011 at 6:58 pm.

loooks good to me! reminds me of my chicken pot pie recipe, but i dont invert it


miriam on October 11, 2011 at 9:53 pm.

First of all, I loved this post. What a beautiful description of your neighborhood! Secondly …this looks delicious. Must make it on chol hamoed. Can I use canned mushrooms?


Tali Simon on October 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm.

I’d say so. I definitely would have if my husband hadn’t stumbled upon an amazing sale on fresh mushrooms at Rami Levi the day before. And thanks. :)


judy from Israel on May 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm.

the horse adds a nice touch….
As for using canned mushrooms, I haven’t touch the stuff in years, it tastes…… canned…..You can’t compare the taste of fresh to canned. If you don’t need so much- slice and freeze for a later date.


Tali Simon on May 13, 2014 at 9:41 am.

The taste definitely doesn’t compare, but the price for fresh can be three times as high…


AILUY on May 21, 2014 at 3:00 am.

Hi, Tali,

Do you think I can use string beans, scallions and garlic only? How much would I use then? Also, I would like to make this for Shavuot, do you think it will be good cold/room temp?


Tali Simon on May 21, 2014 at 1:26 pm.

Sure, this is a flexible dish. You can really put any vegetables on the bottom. Fill the dish with the veg layer so they come halfway up the sides. As far as serving temp, it won’t be great straight from the fridge, but room temp should be okay (though warm/hot is nicest).


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