Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Asparagus and Mushroom Bread Pudding

In the book Animal, Vegatable, Miracle, Barbara Kingsolver lives a year of eating locally from food her family has grown and from local farmer's markets. The book was full of information about growing food and had some great recipes--bonus! I continually make this bread pudding at the start of every asparagus season. It's perfect for a Spring brunch and all the ingredients are available at the same time. My mom liked it so much, she ate about 3 helpings of it.

Bread Pudding

3 cups milk (full fat please!)
1 bunch spring green onions
1 loaf stale multigrain bread
1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 pound local mushrooms (I used crimini)
4 eggs
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh oregano
3 cups grated Swiss/Gruyere cheese

Chop green onions including the root and the greens. Add onions to milk in sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Watch the milk carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over, as that can happen quickly. Then turn off the heat right away and set aside to steep.
Slice the bread into 1 inch pieces and place in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan.
Chop the asparagus into ½ inch pieces drop into boiling water for a couple seconds. Then remove with a strainer and run cold water over it so the asparagus stops cooking.
Cook the mushrooms until softened in some water. Keep their juices. Then mix the mushrooms, 2/3 of the cheese, and asparagus into the bread cubes

Break eggs into cooled milk mixture and beat until smooth. Then add the mushroom juices. Add the fresh herbs and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and pour over the bread. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes (until puffy and golden). Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with extra fresh herbs. Thyme is a good addition to this.

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