Wait, what? I know, that’s what I said when I first came across a recipe for savory bread pudding. I’ve made many bread puddings in my life, usually when I burn a batch of bread or it’s going bad and I know I won’t eat it in time. But I’ve always made sweet bread pudding, usually loaded with vanilla bourbon sauce and pounds of sugar.
I make french toast sandwiches at one of the Seattle farmer’s markets and I make all of my bread from scratch. I love baking bread so this is great for me, but I end up with a lot of the end pieces that I can’t use in a sandwich. I can only eat so much plain bread, so I began my quest for a fun bread pudding recipe and what did I find? You guessed it: savory bread pudding.
Savory Bread Pudding
- 1 loaf day old bread (or equivalent in pieces)
- 5 eggs
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 8 ounce package mushrooms, chopped
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 2 zucchinis, diced
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 350º and cut up the bread into 1 inch cubes. Place the bread on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat up some olive oil and begin caramelizing the onions and celery. Add in the zucchini, eggplant, tomato, mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender. Add in the kale, cover and cook an additional 2 minutes. You can also add in some herbs of your choice here, like thyme or sage.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg and set aside. Place the bread in a large baking dish and top with vegetables. Pour in the egg mixture add the shredded cheese and give it all a nice toss.
Bake at 350º until done, about 45 minutes. The top will be a deep golden brown with no more liquid remaining.