Tuesday, July 23, 2013

kale and zucchini bread pudding

True confession time. I don't really like bread pudding. I usually find these dishes to be too mushy, too dry, too lacking in flavor, too just plain yuck (did I already mention mushy?) So when I see a recipe in a magazine that uses broccoli and Pancetta I think maybe it is time to give this another go - Pancetta? Yes please! And the family loves broccoli and croutons so how bad could this be? I didn't love it - but liked it well enough to give it one more try with a few alterations. The next time around I used kale - since it is overflowing at the farmer's market right now. I used a grated zucchini to help with the moisture factor - you're not really going to taste the zucchini, but it did make a big difference in the texture of this dish. I used the fresh garlic as well as garlic powder for a little smokiness. Added some red pepper flakes for a little heat. And just a little more Pancetta in the egg mixture because...why not...
Here's the final dish,

and here's how I went about this...

3 garlic cloves - minced
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
7 cups good white bread - cut into small pieces
1/2 cup parmesan cheese - plus more for topping
1 medium zucchini - grated
1 bunch kale - washed, dried, stems removed (or most of them anyway)
1 sweet white onion
8 to 10 thin slices of Pancetta - set 6 aside for topping
1 or 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons garlic powder.
a tablespoon or so of olive oil


oven to 350

lay all those pieces of bread on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes.
remove and set aside.

prep the kale.
grate the zucchini.
chop the onion.
chop the garlic.
chop up all but 6 pieces of the Pancetta.

heat the oil - then add the garlic and pepper flakes.
cook until fragrant then add the chopped onion.
cook 8 to10 minutes until translucent.
add the kale.
add the garlic powder.
stir well.
cook just until softened.
add the Pancetta - mix all this up.
add salt and pepper and taste - add more if needed.
remove from heat and set aside.

in a large bowl whisk the eggs and milk with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and a few turns of pepper.
add the parmesan cheese and mix well.
add the bread and stir to coat all the pieces.
add the grated zucchini.
add the kale and onion mixture.
mix all this then pour into a casserole dish.

lay the 6 reserved slices of pancetta on top of the pudding.
sprinkle more parmesan cheese on top.
grate some fresh pepper all over this.

into the oven 40 to 45 minutes.

Now if you are as neurotic as I can be (sometimes)
You will happen to have a cookie cutter that is the exact size of the Pancetta slice and will use that cookie cutter (and a spatula) to get each piece out of the casserole - and it will look like this when you serve it,

I know...I have got to learn to let things go...



  1. Wonderful! And, I love your presentation...Not too anal, heck no! :) I'll print this one and make next month for my recuperation at home. Excited! Thanks for posting this!!!!

    1. VERY VERY Welcome Ellen! Would love to hear how it turns out (hopefully good! eeek)