Any bread pudding fans out there? Traditionally bread pudding is a sweet comfort food reminding me of my grandmother. This recipe is a completely different take on the classic, and definitely doesn't replace the sweet old version some of us grew up with, but is a nice change. It is filled with red onions, greens, and melty, swiss gruyére cheese. I used local amaranth for the blanched greens. It's a perfect dish for serving a vegetarian dinner guest or filling in on the weekend brunch buffet. Be sure and soak your bread for 15-20 minutes to soften and soak up all of the delicious flavor:
- 1 stale baguette or crusty bread--I used day old ciabatta. Cut into 1" cubes
- 1 1/2 lbs. greens (spinach, kale, amaranth...) blanched for 90 seconds, plunged into an ice bath and drained
- 1 red onion or onion of choice, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 1-2 tsp. stone ground mustard
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 c. whole milk
- 2 c. cheese (I used gruyére)
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly beat eggs, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Mix in milk and cheese. Feel free to add an herb at this point (thyme, rosemary.....) Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour liquid over and toss. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch greens and drain in a colander. Submerge colander in an ice bath. Squeeze all liquid out. Heat pan with olive oil, add onion and garlic until soft. Remove from heat and add greens to mix well. Stir in greens with bread mixture and press into a 9x13. Bake 40-45 minutes until bubbly. Serve hot.