Meet your new favourite side dish.
Yes, this dish is heavy on the carbs and fat but we all need to feed the soul, especially in the depths of winter as we brace ourselves against the icy southerlies and retreat indoors to where it is warm and light. What is so wonderful about this dish is its simplicity. It’s bread, soaked in an eggy custard, flavoured with onion and herbs and sprinkled with cheese. Rich and flavourful and perfect served alongside a stew or sausages with a crisp green salad or some winter greens. Make it, I dare you.
SAVOURY BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup cream
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 500g white sourdough bread or ciabatta, thinly sliced then cut on the diagonal
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 generous sprig rosemary
- 12 sage leaves
- 6 generous sprigs thyme
- 40g butter, melted
- 100g tasty cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking dish with butter.
In a bowl, lightly whisk the eggs before whisking in the cream, milk, sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Arrange the bread in the baking dish a little like two mountain ranges – overlapping the two rows so that they don’t sit flat against each other. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, making sure to cover all the pieces. Leave to soak in, basting them from time to time as you prepare the rest of the dish.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onions and fry for 15 minutes or so until starting to caramelise.
Finely chop the herbs, add them to the onion mixture and cook for a further 5 minutes before removing from the heat.
Spoon the onion mixture over and in between the slices of bread. Pour the melted butter over the bread sticking out from the egg mixture, sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and golden brown.
Makes a wonderfully decadent side or a light supper served with a crispy green salad.
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