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Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms, Spinach and Grana Padano

Yield: 8-10 servings

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Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms, Spinach and Grana Padano

Ingredients

Olive oil

1 (1-pound) loaf crusty country-style white bread cut into 1 inch cubes (10 cups)

1 cup grated Grana Padano cheese

4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 (5-ounce) container baby spinach, rinsed

1/2 pound button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1/2 pound shitake mushroom, stems discarded, caps sliced

1 ½ cups finely chopped onions

1 ¼ cups thinly sliced celery

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

3 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

4 large eggs

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Chopped parsley and grated Grana Padano or garnish.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil a 13- by 9-by 2-inch glass baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, 1/4 cup of the Grana Padano, 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, and garlic. Spread out onto a large baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes. Return toasted bread cubes to the large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring spinach and water to cover to a boil. Cook, and drain thoroughly. Let cool for 5 minutes, and coarsely chop. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add mushrooms, onions, and celery; sauté until the juices have evaporated. Add chopped spinach, sautéed vegetables, parsley, and chives to the bread bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs, salt, and ground pepper. Fold into bread bowl mixture; transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup Grana Padano cheese on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake until set, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove foil and place the baking dish under the broiler just long enough to brown. Garnish with chopped parsley and more grated Grana Padano.

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