For tonight’s Meatlesss Monday dinner, I’m making my partner Pieter Dijkstra’s Mushroom Bread Pudding. It’s perfect for early spring, when fresh produce is at a minimum. Pieter developed the recipe for catering clients, and it has become my kids’ favorite dish. It’s so hearty they never miss the meat. If you can find a local source for mushrooms, that will go a long way toward lowering your meal’s carbon footprint.
Mushroom Bread Pudding
1/4 pound focaccia, cut into very small cubes
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
8 tablespoons butter
1/4 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 tablespoon chopped shallot
1/2 pound cremini and/or button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 ounces pesto (optional)
1. Lightly toast focaccia and set aside to cool.
2. Mix egg yolk and cream together; set aside.
3. Heat butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and lightly toast garlic and shallots. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown on edges; set aside to cool.
4. Combine cooled, cooked ingredients plus egg and cream, bread and herbs and let sit for 10 minutes so bread absorbs liquid. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. Liberally grease four 6-ounce ramekins. Pour one level scoop of mushroom mixture into each ramekin, making sure each pudding has some liquid.
6. Cook for 12 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing puddings from pan.
7. Before serving, reheat and top with a dollop of pesto, if using.
Hearty Mushroom Bread Pudding is an elegant, easy main dish that can be made ahead.