Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms, Spinach
and Grana Padano Cheese
1 loaf crusty, country-style white bread
(apx. 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes (10 cups)
1 cup grated Grana Padano
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ (5-ounce) container baby spinach, rinsed
½ pound button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
½ pound shitake mushroom, stems discarded,
1½ cups finely chopped onions
1½ cups thinly sliced celery
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
3½ cups heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
1¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped parsley and grated
Grana Padano cheese for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a glass baking dish, sized 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, ¼ cup of Grana Padano, 2 tablespoons oil, thyme and garlic. Spread out onto a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes. Return toasted bread cubes to the large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring spinach and water to a boil. Cook, and drain thoroughly. Let cool for 5 minutes, then coarsely chop. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add mushrooms, onions and celery; sauté until the juices have evaporated. Add chopped spinach, sautéed vegetables, parsley and chives to the bread bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs, salt and ground pepper. Fold into bread bowl mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup Grana Padano cheese on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove foil and place the baking dish under the broiler just long enough to brown. Garnish with chopped parsley and more grated Grana Padano.
Makes 8-10 servings