I love bread pudding. It's something I order at restaurants, and also something I make at home. Woe to the cinnamon roll that makes it past Sunday morning. The sweet little sucker will soon find itself drowning in milk, eggs and sugar.
And thus, when I first heard of savory bread pudding, my heart stopped. What? Could there be such a delight? Turns out, it's a lot like strata (which I am always amazed to realize no one seems to know about).Which means it's delicious.
I started out with wheat bread. The same bread from our Tuesday Supper. If you don't make your own wheat bread, I suggest using a thick hearty wheat from the grocer's bakery. Then cube and toast.
The sweet potatoes need to be cubed, the shallot and garlic diced. Lots of chopping.
Whisk together the eggs, half & half and milk. Then toss in the pretty spices.
The sweet potatoes need to roast and the shallots and garlic need to sautee.
When the sweet potatoes and shallot mixture have cooled, toss them onto the bread cubes. Add spinach (I picked mine out of a bag of salad mix in the fridge. Don't judge me!).
Pour in the milk mixture and toss with your hands. It's gonna be messy! Hopefully you have a big enough bowl.
Sweet Potato and Spinach Bread Pudding
Adapted from Dixie Caviar
1/2 loaf of homemade wheat bread, cubed
2 c. half & half
1/2 c. milk
1 c. (packed) fresh baby spinach
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, diced
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt
pepper and paprika to taste
Toast bread cubes in oven at 400 until slightly brown. Remove and set aside. Next roast your sweet potatoes at the same temperature for 25 minutes. When finished, turn the oven down to 350 and set the potatoes aside to cool.
Whisk together the eggs, half & half and milk. Add spices and let stand. In a medium saucepan, add butter and sautee the shallots and garlic until golden. Set aside to cool.
Once the potatoes and shallot mixture are near room temperature, toss the bread cubes, potatoes, shallot mixture and spinach into a large bowl. Slowly pour the milk and egg mixture over everything. Toss with your hands to make sure everything is mixed and thoroughly wet.
Pour the pudding into a greased 8x8 square baking dish. Bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.