Because this custardy vegetable pudding is prepared in individual gratin dishes, it’s ready in only about 20 minutes (a large bread pudding can take up to an hour), which makes it a great choice for an easy weekend brunch, perhaps served with a a simple salad. If you can’t find fresh morel mushrooms, substitute 1 ounce (30 g) of dried morels reconstituted in 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) very hot water for 30 minutes.
Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Vegetables and Herbs
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) day-old artisan bread, crusts cut off, bread cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb. (250 g), thin asparagus, ends trimmed, spears cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 1/4 lb. (125 g) morel mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 6 eggs
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) milk
- 2 Tbs. minced chives fresh
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
- 1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray four 2-cup (16 fl. oz./500-ml) gratin dishes or shallow baking dishes with cooking spray and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Divide the bread cubes evenly among the dishes.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the asparagus, mushrooms and thyme, and sauté until the vegetables are just tender, 3 minutes. Spread the vegetables over the bread cubes, dividing them evenly.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, chives, basil, tarragon, lemon zest, white pepper, nutmeg and 1/4 tsp. salt. Pour the egg mixture into the gratin dishes, dividing it evenly. Using the back of a large spoon, press the bread and vegetables down so the bread absorbs the egg mixture. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake until the puddings are set in the center and a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 4.
Find more simple, healthy meals for every night of the week in our book Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning.