Savory Bread Pudding with Asparagus, Gruyère and Fines Herbes
- 1 1-pound loaf French bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
- 2 cups grated Swiss cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh marjoram
- (Note: I used what I had in my herb garden, so obviously these can be easily revised. My recipe included parsley, chives and thyme).
- Place bread on 2 large baking sheets. Let stand uncovered overnight to dry out.
- Cook asparagus in medium pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold running water to cool. Drain well.
- Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Mix cheeses and herbs in medium bowl. Place half of bread in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with half of asparagus, then half of cheese mixture. Pour half of egg mixture over. Repeat with remaining bread, asparagus, cheese mixture, and egg mixture. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing with spatula to submerge bread pieces.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake bread pudding until brown and puffed, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.
- Makes 10 first-course servings