Bread puddings are usually reserved for dessert, but this savory version can be a meal in itself or a hearty side for main course soups or grilled meat. Be sure to use good bread--even better if it's a day old. Try rosemary focaccia or sourdough.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups (1-inch) cubed Italian bread (about 8 ounces)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place boiling water and tomatoes in a bowl. Cover and let stand 10 minutes or until tender. Drain well; finely chop.
Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Combine the milk and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1 tablespoon Parmesan, basil, salt, and pepper.
Place bread in a shallow 1 1/2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Pour milk mixture over bread, gently stirring to coat. Let mixture stand 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Great recipe, thanks! I eyeballed how much bread to use instead of measuring, and it soaked up all the liquid, which made it less custardy than I would have liked. So next time I'll use less bread or more egg mixture. Also, I didn't add extra salt, which wasn't missed at all.
I used a rosemary olive oil bread and when I sauteed the garlic, I did it in butter. I then added about 6 sliced mushrooms and several handfuls of fresh spinach. It turned out well; it was my first time making bread pudding. It was good, but I prefer breakfasts that are ready faster.
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