This savory bread pudding marries onions, carrots, thyme, and sharp cheddar cheese for an earthy, cheesy brunch, side or main course.
Note: If your bread isn't yet stale, you can toast it in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
- 8 cups (about 1 lb) stale country bread, cut into 1-inch squares (see note)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup carrots in 1/4-inch dice
- 1 onion, diced
- 20 ounces baby spinach
- 10 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
- 7 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until leaves are wilted, adding them in two batches if necessary. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat together eggs, milk, and whipping cream.
In a large bowl, combine bread, spinach mixture, cheese, and thyme. Add egg mixture and toss to coat. Pour filling into baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until filling is set and bread at top is golden, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly before serving.
sauté pan, mixing bowls, 4 quart baking dish