This elegant savory bread pudding is a lovely dish to serve at your break fast. It can be made ahead — either fully baked and reheated, or simply assembled and then cooked in the oven an hour before sundown.
You can use a white or whole grain baguette, substitute another vegetable for the artichokes if you prefer, and make it with the cheese of your choosing. (You can also use anything from fat free to whole milk.)
If you choose to fully bake it ahead and reheat, before returning it to the oven, poke holes in the top with a fork, and lightly drizzle a little extra milk over the top. This helps prevent the casserole from drying out.
Savory Artichoke and Tomato Bread Pudding
1 9-ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 16-ounce baguette, cut across in ½-inch slices
5 plum tomatoes (about 1 ½ pounds) cut lengthwise in ¼-inch thick ovals
12 ounces cheddar, coarsely shredded
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking pan and a sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Pat the artichokes dry with paper towel and toss with the olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Spread on the sheet pan and roast in the oven until lightly browned on the edges, about 22 to 25 minutes.
3. Whisk the eggs with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, milk, mustard, nutmeg and black pepper.
4. Set aside 6 bread slices. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with half the remaining bread. Pour 1 cup of the egg mixture over the bread and top with half the artichokes. Layer with half the tomatoes and sprinkle with 2 cups of the cheese. Repeat, using the remaining bread (but not the reserved slices), 1 cup egg mixture, remaining artichokes and tomatoes, and 2 cups of the cheese. Top with the reserved slices of bread and pour the remaining egg mixture over them. Press down lightly to help those top bread slices absorb liquid. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake until the egg is set and the top browned, about 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares to serve.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.