We had friends from our old apartment building in NYC come stay with us last weekend with their 3 year old son. My husband was making steaks and I knew I wanted to make my pan roasted brussel sprouts with honey and chili flakes, but what to serve as a starch? I always have trouble with the starch because I usually just cook a protein and veggie for dinner (starch makes me gain weight faster than any other food group!), but I try to serve one when we have guests. Your average rice or potatoes get so boring, so I was looking for something a little more unique.
Giada’s Tomato Basil Bread Pudding was perfect! It was warm and comforting, but had a nice zip from the quickly roasted tomatoes and wilted basil. And, we were having so much fun with our friends that I forgot to take a picture of it…forgive me!
Tomato Basil Bread Pudding
Courtesy of Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis: Link to recipe on Foodnetwork.com
Butter, for greasing the baking dish
1/2 (8 ounces) multi-grain loaf, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Parmesan
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Filling: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Add the bread cubes and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese over the bread cubes and combine well.
Custard: In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pudding from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.