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.
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 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9″x13″ baking dish.
- Remove the root and dark green parts of the leeks. Cut in half and rinse thoroughly between each layer. Dice.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the leeks, garlic, arugula and bacon to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Using a bread or other knife with a large serrated edge, gently cut the brioche into 1/2 inch cubes. You need 6 cups.
- Stir the bread into the egg mixture gently with a large spoon making sure to separate the cubes and cover with egg.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.