Look for a crusty country loaf for this recipe to ensure good texture in the finished dish, and buy an authentic creamy, nutty fontina from Italy’s Aosta Valley for the best flavor. Accompany the dish with a salad of butter lettuce, sliced pears and toasted walnuts and pour a crisp Sauvignon Blanc at the table.
Bread Pudding with Chard, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Fontina
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml.) milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 slices coarse country bread, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm.) cubes
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch chard, tough stems removed, leaves chopped
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g.) packed fresh basil leaves
3 oz. (90 g.) fontina cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 2-qt. (1-l.) baking dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the bread cubes and stir to combine. Let stand for 15 minutes. Occasionally press down on the bread cubes with a spatula to immerse them in the liquid.
In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chard and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Add the chard mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and fontina to the bowl with the bread and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish. Bake the pudding until browned on top, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Serves 4-6.
Find more seasonal, vegetable-focused dishes in our new cookbook Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan.