1 family. friendly food. » Arugula, Bacon, and Gruyère Bread Pudding

What can I say? I love bread puddings, sweet or savory. It’s like old-world food. Basic ingredients. Using leftover bread. A warm and rustic dish. Golden crust. The best of comfort food.

Here’s a lovely recipe from Gourmet magazine that I made a few days ago. Eating more leafy greens is, ahemm ahemm, one of my New Year’s resolutions. I love arugula and am always looking for new ways to use it. This bread pudding was quick and easy to make, and made a very nice dinner together with a salad (more leafy greens). If you have any leftovers take them for lunch at work the following day. It can be easily reheated in the microwave.
(For more bread puddings recipes, click here).

Oh, another good thing about bread puddings – they reheat very well (in the microwave, or in the oven covered with foil) or you can assemble them ahead. Assemble the whole thing (with or without the bread, depending on how many hours it is going to sit) but don’t bake. When you return home from work, pop it in the oven, bake, and voila – dinner!

Slightly adapted from Gourmet, December 2008
Makes 4-6 main course or 6-8 side dish servings
Active Time: 20 min

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 large eggs
6 bacon slices, sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
5 ounces baby arugula
6 cups cubed (1-inch) country-style bread (1 pound)
5 1/2 ounces Gruyère cheese, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a 2-qt (8*8 or 9*9-inch) baking dish.

Whisk together milk, cream, eggs, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Preheat 10-12 -inch heavy skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook bacon in a, turning occasionally, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Cook shallot and garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Gradually add arugula and cook, stirring, until it wilts. Let cool a bit.
Stir arugula mixture, bacon, bread, and cheese into custard. Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil.*
Bake 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until golden in spots, about 10 minutes more.

* Next time I’ll make it, I will let it sit for at least 30 minutes (or longer) in the refrigerator so the bread soaks the liquids more.

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Categories : Fall and Winter, Main dishes/entrées, Recipes

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