Arugula Bread Pudding

Don’t start me.  I know what you’re thinking.  Bread pudding is a dessert, but I found this recipe in Gourmet and couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I used to love my Gourmet magazine, but now I’m a Bon Appetit reader due to circumstances beyond my control.  So many of the cooking magazines are a bit too upscale for me.  I’m just too lazy to want to attempt any recipe that has 2 pages of instructions.  My bad.

I’ve been eating bread pudding since I was a little girl.  I’ll share Grandma Olson’s recipe soon.  The big decision back then was whether you were a raisin person or not; I was.  This recipe has little in common with that one.  Savory is becoming more and more important in my repertoire.  I love a good side dish and the addition of Gruyere, one of my favorite cheeses, makes this almost irresistible.

I love the look of this on the plate next to almost any meat.  I’m a major pork tenderloin person and this is great with it or any pork.  It’s nice to have a starch side dish that isn’t rice or potatoes.  This has really good visual appeal.  And of course a favorite cheese.  Bon Appetit!

6 cups cubed country-style Italian loaf

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

5 eggs

6 slices bacon

1 large shallot, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

6 ounces baby arugula or baby spinach (6 cups)

5 1/2 ounces Gruyere cheese, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle.  Butter a 2 quart shallow baking dish.

Whisk together milk, cream, eggs and S & P in a large bowl.

Cook bacon in a 12 inch-heavy skillet over medium heat, until crisp.

Transfer to paper towels to drain, then coarsely crumble.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet.  Increase heat to medium-high and cook shallot and garlic, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute.  Gradually add arugula and cook, stirring, until it wilts.

Stir arugula mixture, bacon, cubed bread and cheese into milk custard.  Transfer to baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake until golden in spots, about 10 more minutes.

*  From the Recipe Box:

I don’t usually buy shallots; I’m too cheap to be bothered.  Small yellow onions will do just fine for me.  How much different are they really?  Don’t tell anyone, but I don’t usually have fresh garlic either.  Dried and granulated works just fine for me.  See, I told you I was a lazy butt.

I also use half and half instead of milk and cream if that’s what I have.

and remember:  If you work hard and are kind, amazing things will happen.  Big kiss, Lynn

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