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Asparagus bread pudding Recipe

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3 votes | 8497 views

It’s spring, the asparagus is in, and it sometimes seems like there aren’t enough ways to eat it. This dish can stand alone as a vegetarian entrée or serve as a hearty side dish alongside roast chicken or fish. My guests have compared the consistency to a calzone.

This is a fairly forgiving recipe though I would caution against using unusually shaped loaves of bread with odd surface-to-volume ratios: Crust absorbs liquid at a different rate than crumb, and with a different final result; too much crust = stiff, dry, crappy bread pudding. I generally use the teardrop- or football-shaped French loaves. I would avoid the round ones with very thick crusts, as well as anything like a ciabatta or baguette, even if they are technically “pound loaves”.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 8
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $4.24 view details
  • bread – 1 lb. loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes and staled overnight
  • asparagus – 2 lb.
  • milk, whole – 2 c
  • eggs, large – 6
  • kosher salt – 2 t
  • black pepper – 3/4 t
  • swiss cheese – 1/3 lb., coarsely grated (~2 c)
  • gruyere – 1/3 lb., coarsely grated (~2 c)
  • parmesan – 1/4 lb., finely grated (~1 c)
  • parsley – 1/2 c, finely chopped
  • oregano – 1/4 c, finely chopped
  • thyme – 1 T, finely chopped
  • butter – 2 T, softened

Directions

  1. Snap the asparagus: Hold each spear at both ends and bend until it snaps at the natural breaking point. Keep the tops and use the bottoms for something else (after peeling, they are good for soup).
  2. Cut the asparagus tops into 1-2” pieces (shorter with thick asparagus, longer with thin).
  3. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water (1 min for thin, 2 min for thick) and plunge into ice water.
  4. Toss together the cheese and herbs. (Note: If you’re doing this far in advance, keep the grated cheese in the fridge; otherwise the swiss and gruyere will get gummy.)
  5. Whisk together the milk, eggs, salt and pepper.
  6. In a big bowl, toss the bread cubes with the milk/egg mixture. Let this sit and soak for 15 minutes or so. The liquid will not entirely cover the bread, so toss it gently once or twice during the soak so that all the bread gets a chance to be submerged. Be gentle.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. Butter a casserole/baking dish (13”x9”x2”).
  9. Using a slotted spoon and shaking off excess liquid, scatter half the bread mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Now scatter half the asparagus and half the cheese.
  10. You guessed it; do those three things again. If there’s any milk/egg mixture left, pour that over the top.
  11. Place the dish on a center rack and cook for 40-45 minutes. The bread will puff, emerge from the liquid and cheese, and turn an enticing golden brown. Walk it around the kitchen and show it off.
  12. Cut into 8 entrée or 12-16 side portions and serve.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 182g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 401  
Calories from Fat 178 44%
Total Fat 20.21g 25%
Saturated Fat 11.01g 44%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 103mg 34%
Sodium 1205mg 50%
Potassium 286mg 8%
Total Carbs 32.42g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g 11%
Sugars 2.71g 2%
Protein 23.51g 38%

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