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Spring is in full swing which means asparagus and leeks are at their best! And thus why I chose to feature them in my contribution to our latest Easter brunch. I’ve always been a fan of egg dishes (mmmmm breakfast casseroles) but this one turned out even more noteworthy than expected – take this along with you to your next brunchy affair and you won’t be sorry ;)
Asparagus and Leek Breakfast Bread Pudding
Inspired by THIS recipe
Start-to-finish – 1 hour 15 minutes plus overnight or 1 hour 45 minutes
1/2 loaf french bread, sliced and cut in to 1/2 inch cubes (day-old/ drier bread is best although fresh bread will still work – see instructions)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup cottage cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium leeks, sliced
1/2 bunch of asparagus, cut/snapped in to bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp butter
1-2 handful shredded cheese for sprinkling (we like cheddar)
1) If your bread is still fairly moist/ soft, spread bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes until bread is slightly toasted. If you’re bread is already dry, feel free to skip this step.
2) In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add garlic, leeks, and asparagus. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute until asparagus is almost soft – about 10 minutes.
3) While veggies are sauteing, beat together eggs, milk, and cream in a medium bowl. Add in cream cheese and mix until cottage cheese is evenly distributed.
4) Lightly grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle bread cubes in a single layer in dish, overlapping them as little as possible. Spread veggie mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Sprinkle cheese over veggies and pour egg mixture over all.
5) Cover pudding with plastic wrap and EITHER refrigerate over night OR let it sit for at least half an hour at room temperature.
6) After the pudding is set, uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until pudding is puffed and top is slightly browned. Let stand for 10 minutes or so before digging in :)
Summer – Bell peppers, eggplant, green beans, peas, tomatoes, or zucchini/summer squash are all EXCELLENT candidates to be used in this dish :)
Fall – Give peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots, or potatoes a try.
Winter – Adding some cold weather greens like kale would be so yummy!
Spring – This recipe is already very “Springy” but don’t let that stop you from trying out other veggies at their peak in this season like artichoke hearts, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, green onions, peas, or mushrooms.