Anna Mintz is a Publicist for Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, and is an editor for The Recipe Club. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in New York City and loves exploring NYC’s restaurant scene and trying out new recipes in her own kitchen.
Sweet or savory, bread puddings are definitely a treat. For maximum flavor, this recipe from Weeknights with Giada (Clarkson Potter, 2012) by Giada De Laurentiis calls for a multigrain bread. Combined with fresh tomatoes and fragrant basil, this makes a great side dish or even vegetarian main course.
I made the bread pudding while at home in Atlanta over the Christmas holidays. We served it as a side dish, along with homemade fried chicken and a chopped salad — my perfect meal!
Even though tomatoes are at their best in the summer, I really love cherry tomatoes because they taste great to me year-round. And the color is stunning!
After dicing the bread into cubes and cooking shallots, garlic, and the tomatoes, it was incredibly easy to put the bread pudding together. Just toss the bread, tomato, and basil mixture with the egg mixture, and pop the dish in the oven.
I was inspired to make Giada’s savory bread pudding after recently enjoying dinner at Union Square Cafe in New York. They served a Parmesan Bread Pudding as a side dish to my roast chicken, and it was to die for. Giada’s version was totally delicious too: creamy, salty, warm, and comforting. I was very pleased to realize that it took hardly any time to put together and that it is a great side that’s easy to make ahead of time. I’m putting this recipe in my “make again ASAP” file — it was that good!
Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding
Recipe from Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis
serves 4 as a main course or 6 to 8 as a side dish
Butter, for the baking dish
½ (8-ounce) multigrain loaf, cut into ½-inch cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil
1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
7 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Butter a 9 x 13 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add the bread cubes and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook,
stirring constantly, for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and
¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, until slightly soft. Remove the pan from the heat
and stir in the basil.
Pour the tomato mixture over the bread cubes, add the Parmesan, and combine well.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper until
smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Cut into
wedges and serve.