Sunday, August 21, 2011
Zucchini Bread Pudding
Are you in a zucchini rut? Is your fridge stuffed with them and you're sick of just roasting them? Have you eaten as many marinated zucchini salads as you can stomach? This zucchini bread pudding, or stuffing, is a great way to use up a lot of zucchini. While I love roasted zucchini on it's own and can eat it nearly endlessly all summer long, this is a delicious alternative to break up the monotony. Since it's warm and bready, you may want to leave it for a cooler summer day, though I think it would be great chilled, too. Serve it for brunch with fresh fruit or lunch and dinner with a (non-zucchini) salad.
- 1 loaf whole grain bread, about 7 c. cubed. Look for something that is about half whole wheat and half white or sourdough; make sure it's not too heavy or dense. Ideally leave the cubes out overnight to get a little stale or toast them in the oven a bit to dry them out, but you can use fresh bread with fine results.
- 2 1/2 c. coarsely grated zucchini, about 2 medium. (More zucchini could be used, but you would need to squeeze the excess moisture out.)
- 1 1/4 c. diced onion, about 1 medium
- 2 tbsp. minced sun dried tomatoes
- 2 eggs (if you like eggs, you could use 3 or even 4 for an eggier, richer filling)
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl combine the bread cubes, zucchini, onion, and dried tomato and toss to distribute evenly.
- Whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, olive oil, basil, salt, and spices.
- Pour the liquid over the bread mix and toss to distribute.
- Press the bread down into the liquid. Cover and let soak for 1 hour.
- Butter the inside of a cast iron skillet.
- Pour the bread mix into the skillet and press down firmly.
- Spread the parmesan evenly over the surface.
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Optionally broil for a few minutes towards the end if the top needs help browning.
While any casserole dish can be used, the cast iron really helps create a delicious, crispy, caramelized crust. You could also use muffin tins, (or cast iron muffin molds!), to make individual portions that would make a lovely presentation turned upside down. Just be sure to reduce the baking time so they don't dry out.