Savory Vegetable Bread Pudding

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Based on “Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach & Mushrooms” from Eating Well.

Serves 6

4 large eggs
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
3 1/2 cups cubed stale whole-wheat country bread (1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes)  (I used Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tuscan Pane, and it was definitely stale)
2 medium zucchini, 1/4″ dice, browned in olive oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 10 oz jar fire-roasted red bell peppers, chopped (1/2″ pieces)
1/2 lb chopped mushrooms, sauteed, seasoned with salt & pepper
1 cup grated cheese of your choice: Gruyère, Emmentaler, Manchego, sharp cheddar, etc.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add milk, hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; whisk until blended. Add bread and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-by-8-inch (or similar 8-cup) ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.

Add the vegetables, the rest of the salt & pepper, and 1/2 cup cheese to the egg mixture; stir with a rubber spatula until blended. Scrape into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over the top. Place the baking dish in a larger pan, put in the oven and pour boiling water into the larger pan to about halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the pudding is set in the center, 55-65 minutes. Let cool slightly; serve hot or warm.

 

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