Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Savory Mediterranean Bread Pudding

Once again, it's time for a little bread pudding love! This time we are taking a savory turn and exploring some Mediterranean flavors! One of my favorite trifectas--olives, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes--combine with onion, garlic, and oregano to create this delicious side dish option. Bread pudding is not just for dessert, and this delicious creation is proof!

Do you prefer sweet or savory bread pudding? What is your favorite savory bread pudding you've had? My next post will share a delicious and easy bread that would be perfect for your next bread pudding creation! Stay tuned ;-)

Savory Mediterranean Bread Pudding
Serves 6

Unsalted butter, for baking dish
5 cups stale* 1/2-inch bread cubes
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Kosher salt
1/4 lb pitted kalamata or green olives, sliced
8 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 T. oil from sundried tomato jar
1/2 cup crumbled feta (preferably Bulgarian)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Add the stale bread cubes to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and 1 tsp. dried oregano and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for another minute and set aside to cool.

Toss the cooled onion mixture, olives, sundried tomatoes, and sundried tomato oil with the bread cubes. Evenly arrange the mixture in the baking dish. Top with the crumbled feta.

In another bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and the milk, and season with a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the custard evenly over the bread cubes and soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Bake the bread pudding until the filling is set and the top is crusted, about 35 to 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

*If your bread isn't very stale, cut it into cubes and allow the bread cubes to dry out at room temperature all day or overnight. Alternatively, lightly toast them on a sheet pan in a 350 degree F oven until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes.


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