bacon and arugula bread pudding

This dish is so good, it brought a vegetarian back to her senses on Easter.  It’s that good.  Go to the grocery store right now.  Make it for dinner tonight.  Never look back.

Ingredients

7 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half & half
1 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesano reggiano
1 1/4 cup freshly grated fontina (this is easier if you put the fontina in the freezer for 5 minutes first)
2 tbs butter
8 cups fresh arugula, chopped
2 leeks
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 loaf of brioche bread
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 9″x13″ baking dish.
  2. Remove the root and dark green parts of the leeks.  Cut in half and rinse thoroughly between each layer.  Dice.
  3. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat until small bubbles form.  Add the leeks and sauté until softened.  Add the garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove leeks and garlic from the pan and set aside. Add arugula and 1 tbs of water, cover and let arugula wilt in the skillet (no additional heat necessary).  Let cool.
  5. Mix eggs, milk, half & half, 1 cup of each cheese, the thyme, pepper and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork.
  6. Add the leeks, garlic, arugula and bacon to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  7. Using a bread or other knife with a large serrated edge, gently cut the brioche into 1/2 inch cubes.  You need 6 cups.
  8. Stir the bread into the egg mixture gently with a large spoon making sure to separate the cubes and cover with egg.
  9. Pour into greased baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate overnight if desired.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until center is set.  If the edges start to crisp before the center is set, lightly place a piece(s) of foil over edges to form a barrier to the oven’s heat element.
  11. Serve to all of your vegetarian friends.

NOTE:  This recipe freezes very well.  Allow to come to room temperature, wrap in plastic wrap 3 times and then once more with foil.  Sign and date it.  It’s a work of art.

3 Comments

    1. It is! It’s infinitely adaptable, too. You can easily substitute your favorite ingredients. Please let me know how yours turns out!

  1. OMG – it not only looks amazing…It was amazing. Yum. Highly recommend this dish for a bit of sophistication for any great meal.

Thoughts?