Sunday, April 26, 2009

Acorn Squash and Bacon Bread Pudding

I recently found myself with a stale half loaf of very nice bread from the farmer's market. Being the thrifty person I am, I started brainstorming ideas for what to do with it. Freezing and reheating to eat as normal bread was no longer an option since the bread was almost rock hard. I could have ground it up for bread crumbs but I rarely use them and really - half a loaf's worth of bread crumbs?? So my mind turned to savory bread pudding, something I'd never eaten before but for some reason, that's what popped into my head.

I ended up adapting this recipe from Cooking Light, using acorn instead of butternut squash and adding bacon and frozen spinach (the latter counteracts the unhealthiness of the former, right??). I also used only 3 eggs with no additional egg whites, and omitted the nutmeg (have never been very fond of the stuff except in pumpkin pies). I was surprised and pleased with the results - a gorgeous crusty top and a soft custardy interior. The bacon definitely helped as it probably would have been a bit bland otherwise. Yum!

It also made a really nice bento atop a bed of arugula with some juicy tomato slices alongside. I took this to class, extracted the bread pudding and heated it in the microwave, tossed the arugula and tomato with a bit of italian dressing, then put the warm bread pudding back on top to slightly wilt the arugula. It was a totally delicious and gourmet-looking dinner!

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