3.28.14 Artichoke, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Bread Pudding
A good bread pudding is a beautiful thing. But, for a long time, I was missing out on bread pudding’s true potential. Until recently I had only thought of bread pudding as a dessert. Quite a good dessert of course, especially when topped with caramel sauce and served with a side of ice cream. But, not long ago, I realized that if you tweak the ingredients just a bit, that same delicious custardy dessert is now a gloriously golden, cheesy, hearty dinner or brunch - perfect for warding off chilly spring weather.
I stumbled upon the realization that bread pudding could in fact take on a savory form while browsing through one of my many cookbooks. The book in question, Local Flavors is a fantastic book by Deborah Madison about farmer’s markets across the country. And of course, it has a ton of great recipes. It was early spring, and I had just bought the book in anticipation of the quickly approaching commencement of the Dane County Farmer’s Market. As I perused through the book’s recipes, searching for what I would make with my soon to be acquired farmer’s market bounty, a recipe for an asparagus and wild mushroom bread pudding caught my attention. I was intrigued by the idea of a savory bread pudding, so obviously, it was not long before I gave this recipe a try. And I was not disappointed.
In fact it was so good, I made it again. And a few more times. And now, It’s become one of those things that I always end up getting a serious craving for around this time of year. Although I tend to take some creative liberties with what ingredients I end up putting into it. So when the recent chilly, rainy spring weather rolled in, I knew it was bread pudding time. And this artichoke, goat cheese and prosciutto bread pudding was just the thing. Perfect with a steaming cup of tea for breakfast or a light green salad and a glass of wine for dinner. You really can’t go wrong.
Artichoke, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Bread Pudding
This is a great way to use up any less than fresh bread you might have lying around. Stale bread is perfect for bread pudding since it will help the bread keep its texture in the dish and not turn to mush.
- ½ lb good crusty bread, cut into about 1 inch cubes (I love using Madison Sourdough Co.’s country sourdough for this)
- 2 cups milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese, divided
- 6 oz marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
- 2.5 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 2.5 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. If your bread is not already stale, lay the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, until they crisp up slightly. Or, if you plan ahead, you can leave the bread cubes lying out on your kitchen counter overnight to help speed up the staling process.
3. In a saucepan, combine the milk and garlic and heat until just about to boil.
4. Place stale bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the warm milk and garlic over. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until most of the milk has been absorbed by the bread, about 10 -15 minutes.
5. Mix in ⅔ cup of the grated fontina, the artichokes, goat cheese, and prosciutto.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, thyme, salt and pepper and add to the bread mixture, stirring well to combine.
7. Put bread mixture into a greased 8x8 casserole dish and top with the remaining grated fontina.
8. Bake at 350 degrees until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.