Mini Tomato-Basil Bread Puddings

9 Sep

Mini Tomato Basil Bread PuddingBread puddings are the epitome of warm, homey comfort food. We always remember all the delicious dessert bread puddings and often overlook that savory bread puddings are celebrated soul friendly brunch entrées or a dinner side dishes.

A few years ago I came across a remarkable Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding recipe created by Giada de Laurentiis. Over the years I have created several brunch versions of this and have enjoyed all of them. It’s a versatile recipe that can take on the addition of any favorite omelet ingredient – ham, mushrooms, green peppers etc. This version doesn’t deviate too far from the original recipe. I add in some Fontina cheese for extra creaminess and some hot sauce for an underlying kick. Creating individual portions in cupcake tins gives a little vigor to comfort classic. Individual Tomato Basil Bread Pudding

These mini tomato-basil bread puddings symbolize comfort food at its best – rustic, humble, inexpensive and heartwarming! 

Mini Tomato-Basil Bread Puddings
Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding Recipe
Time:   Active: 15 minutes    Inactive: 30 minutes
Servings: 12-14 regular cupcake sized portions

Filling Ingredients:
8 oz of multi-grain loaf, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ cups of shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup of shredded Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, minced
16 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Custard Ingredients:
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups of 2% milk (you can also use whole milk)
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce (per taste)

1) Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray your regular cupcake tins (12-14 cupcakes from this recipe).
2) In a medium-large mixing bowl combine the bread cubes, Parmesan and Fontina cheese and set aside.
3) In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until the shallots are translucent and the raw garlic smell dissipates (about 2 minutes). Now add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly soft about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Add this tomato mixture to the bread cubes and cheese mixture. Carefully stir everything to combine well.
4) In a large bowl, beat together the eggs with all the other custard ingredients, until smooth and slightly fluffy.
5) Divide the tomato and bread mixture among the cupcake cavities. Fill each cavity just shy of a finger space from the top. Now divide the egg custard to each cavity. The egg mixture should only come up to where the bread mixture ends.  Bake until golden, puffy and set (about 20-30 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for 8-10 minutes. Carefully run a butter knife along each cupcake cavity and remove the mini bread puddings. Serve immediately.

Meal idea:
For a complete brunch serve these along with a tossed salad, ham or bacon and fresh fruit cups.

One Response to “Mini Tomato-Basil Bread Puddings”

  1. Alka Roy September 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    A real comfort food.

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