Recipe for May 29, 2011
Can’t get enough of the wonderful fresh asparagus that’s available right now? Try this recipe that you can assemble a day in advance.
1 loaf challah bread*, sliced 6 eggs*
3 ½ cups milk Pepper
Salt 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese*
2 pounds fat asparagus, trimmed and peeled ½ cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese*
4 tablespoons butter
Arrange the slices of challah in a single layer on a sheet pan. Save or discard the end pieces. Pour 2 ½ cups milk over the bread and set aside until the bread has absorbed the milk.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and boil until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain, then plunge the spears into a bowl of ice-cold water to stop them from cooking. Drain the asparagus, slice them in half lengthwise, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a large baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Beat the eggs with the remaining 1 cup of milk in a medium bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.
Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with half the bread in a single layer. Cover the bread with half the asparagus. Scatter half the Gruyère then half the parmigiano-reggiano over the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Make another layer with the remaining slices of bread and asparagus. Pour the beaten eggs and milk over the layers, scatter with the remaining cheeses, and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
Bake the bread pudding until puffed and golden brown, and set in the center, 45-60 minutes.
From Canal House Cooking – Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton - 2011
*Ingredients can be found at the market. Challah bread is available from the Great Harvest Bread vender. Substitute cheeses with some from ShadowBrook Farm’s Dutch Girl Creamery.