Anyone who prefers to eat seasonally should probably look away until autumn. July is no time for casseroles, surely. No time for pumpkin and kale, or the heady scent of nutmeg.
Sometimes I’m ready for fall before it’s ready for me. Sometimes you need a deep dish of savory bread pudding, and who cares if it’s 90 degrees outside after dark? Greens are good all year round, and this recipe prefers silky canned pumpkin to the fresh little ones we won’t be able to find at the shops until September, so it can be made anytime. If you can bear to turn on your oven in this heat, this is the dish to do it for.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
1/2 of a baguette, sliced
1 lb kale
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups milk
4 oz cheese (I used half Gruyère and half Drunken Goat)
white pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Trim away the kale stems, tear the leaves into manageable chunks, and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain well.
Arrange the baguette slices in an oval pan or an 8×8 inch brownie pan.
Stuff kale between the slices.
Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
Combine the eggs, pumpkin, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl.
Mix them together thoroughly.
Pour the mixture over the bread and kale and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
Wait 5-10 minutes to let the liquid soak completely into the bread. Turn the oven to 375°F while you wait. When ready, bake the bread pudding for 40-45 minutes.
Serve immediately. This would be good with a light salad, but I had no difficulty eating this on its own and justifying seconds by telling myself it had kale in it, so it’s practically health food.
How could anyone say no to that?