This dish is also known as a strata and makes a wonderful brunch dish or a comforting casual dinner.  You can substitute any sort of cooked vegetable in this recipe..

Savory Bread Pudding with Leeks and Mushrooms—pairs with Chardonnay

 Adapted from The New York Times

Serves 4-6

1 leek, washed thoroughly and sliced thin

1 shallot, minced                

1 carrot, peeled and chopped into ¼” dice                         

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided                                                          

½ lb. mushrooms, sliced                                     

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped                                                            

1 garlic clove                                                       

Salt and freshly ground pepper                                          

½ pound stale bread, white or whole grain, cut into 1” slices                                             

2 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre), crumbled (1/2 cup)

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)

4 eggs

2 cups low-fat milk

  1. Cut one garlic clove in half and rub the slices of bread with the cut side. Then mince the garlic.  Cut bread into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, wide skillet and add the leek, shallot, and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft but not browned.  Remove vegetables from the skillet and put into a bowl.  Wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in the same skillet and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, and add the thyme, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook for another minute or two until the mushrooms are tender and fragrant.  Add the vegetables to the skillet, stir to combine and remove from heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil or butter a 2-quart baking dish, soufflé dish or gratin.  In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, the mushroom-vegetable mixture, and the two cheese and toss together.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  5. Beat together the eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and pour over the bread mixture.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes before baking so that the bread can absorb some of the liquid.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until puffed and browned. Remove from the oven and serve hot or warm.

 

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