This dish was inspired by a recipe Georgeanne Brennan brought back from France and shared with her friends at Chez Panisse. You can play around with it by trying different cheeses and even substituting other vegetables when asparagus isn't at its peak.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 pound (2 small) leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (white and light green parts only)
- 5 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal
- into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound dry bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (if fresh, toast lightly)
- 1/4 pound fontina cheese, shredded
- 1/4 pound Gruyere or Cantal cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, tarragon, chervil)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Pinch cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the water and a pinch of salt. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Add the remaining ingredients, including the leeks, and gently toss them. The mixture should be well coated and somewhat soupy.
Spread the mixture into a 4-quart soufflé dish, a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or another ovenproof dish that’s at least 2 inches deep and big enough to hold the mixture. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the top is crusty brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45-60 minutes. If the pudding looks too dark before it’s finished, cover with foil. Let cool slightly before serving.
Recipe reprinted by permission of <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
599 calories; 31g total fat; 219mg cholesterol; 770mg sodium; 57g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 24g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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