Perhaps the crowning jewel of my vegetarian month was this hearty bread pudding. I riffed off a few recipes I found, and in the process created a savory, flavorful and wholesome fast, easy dinner. I’ll definitely make this again.
Like many of the vegetarian recipes I post here, it’s customizable to your own tastes and preferences – or to whatever you have on hand. I was lucky enough to use a lot of local foods in this including eggs, milk, bread (Provence rolls I had frozen) and some goat cheese feta (thanks Bloomy Rind!). The veggies were just what I happened to have in the fridge/freezer. Cooked (and drained) spinach, leeks, kale, broccoli would all be good. Lots of possibilities! Experiment freely, and if you hit on a good combination, report back! Enjoy.
And you know, now that vegetarian month is over, I just might add a little bit of crumbled bacon to this. Though, for the record, this hearty dish totally stands on its own without the addition of meat. But a little bacon sure never hurt anything.
Savory Veggie Bread Pudding
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: About an hour
This savory bread pudding would be good for brunch or dinner and is tasty reheated. Hearty and filling, you'll especially want to enjoy it when it's cold and rainy outside, mark my words.
half loaf of bread
1 bunch scallions
1 c frozen peas
1 c milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 glass baking dish with cooking spray or coat with oil. Set aside. Coarsely chop bread into cubes and bake on a rimmed baking sheet until toasted and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add milk, scallions and frozen peas, and bring to a boil (to scald milk). Once boiling, immediately remove milk from heat and cover to steep.
Heat oil in skillet. Add onions and cook, 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms begin to release their juices. Add peppers and saute until mushrooms and peppers are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Beat eggs until smooth; add milk mixture (slightly cooled so eggs don't cook). Place bread crumbs in prepared dish, toss with cooked veggies and feta. Pour milk/egg mixture over bread/veggie mixture and, using a large spoon or spatula, mix a few times until just combined. Add a bit more milk if mixture appears dry. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until cooked through and not jiggly in the middle. Enjoy with a simple tossed green salad.