There ain't nothing in this world that a little bread pudding can't fix, right? Even if it's savory bread pudding, it's still a delicious and comforting dish that just warms your tummy right up. I'd always wanted to try a savory version of BP, and when I stumbled upon a recipe last week, I immediately bookmarked it.
It's fairly healthy - whole wheat bread, vegetables, light on the oil, and 2% milk - but a big dense, due to the bread I used. I think next time, I'll use a lighter and crustier loaf, rather than a whole wheat fiber-loaded bread. Overall, though, it's really easy to make and pretty delicious.
Savory Spinach and Mushroom Bread Pudding
adapted from Eating Well
4 large eggs
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 1/2 cups cubed stale whole-wheat country bread
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion, (1 medium)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper, (1 small)
4 cups sliced mushrooms, (12 ounces)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup grated Gruyère, Emmentaler or Manchego cheese (3 ounces), divided (I used Swiss)
Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; whisk until blended. Add bread and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8-by-8-inch (or similar 8-cup) ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
Cook spinach according to package directions. Drain, refresh with cold water and squeeze out excess moisture. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until tender and golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic; stir to blend. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until any excess moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
Add the mushroom mixture and 1/2 cup cheese to the egg mixture; stir until blended. Scrape into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over the top. Place the baking dish in a larger pan, put in the oven and pour boiling water into the larger pan to about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. (I skipped this step completely. I've made plenty of bread puddings, and never baked one like this. It turned out just fine!) Bake until the pudding is set in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly; serve hot or warm.