…Are you still here?
Even without careful rationing the casserole fed me through three-and-half days of lunches and dinners, so it ended up saving me about 2 hours. The picky Goofy Baby loved it, I loved it, and its gorgeousness warmed my hungry heart. The bon appétit site from which I adapted the recipe tried to market this recipe as a vegetarian Thanksgiving centerpiece, but I don't think so. I would never serve a cheesy dish at Thanksgiving, let alone as the centerpiece. I know some families have a broccoli and cheese casserole tradition on that day, but not as a turkey substitute!
The vegetable ingredients stay in season for months, so you can enjoy this from November through March or even April.
* This dish adapts really well to the gluten-free diet because the baguette I used had to be toasted until it was completely crisp. GF bread has no trouble getting crisp. I think you could use toasted gluten-free bread or even large, unseasoned GF croutons as a substitute (The brand Ener-G makes some). Just be careful to use gluten-free alcohol.
Butternut Squash and Kale Bread Pudding
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 baguette, * sliced into 1 inch pieces and toasted until crisp.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
7 large eggs
1 pint cream
6 tablespoons dry white wine, sake, or Chinese Shao xing wine
4 large shallots, chopped
1 pound kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped or torn into small pieces
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss cubed squash with 1 Tablespoon of oil. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until tender.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in cream, wine, and kosher salt. Add baguette pieces. Mix gently together and allow to sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a large pot, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add kale. Cover and cook 2 to 7 minutes until kale has wilted a little but is still bright green.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the bread from the egg mixture to the baking dish. Arrange it to cover most of the dish.
- Spoon half of the kale-shallot mix over the bread.
- Spoon half of the squash cubes over the kale.
- Sprinkle half of the cheese over the squash cubes.
- Repeat steps 5 through 8.
- Pour remaining egg mixture over the bread pudding.
- Cover the bread pudding with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered 20 minutes.
- Cool and serve.