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Asparagus-Leek Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and sliced
  • (white and light green parts only)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into pieces
  • 1 pound dry bread, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 pound fontina cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 cup fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and cream. Add the remaining ingredients and the leeks, and gently toss together. Spread the mixture into a 4-quart soufflé dish, or a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cover bread pudding with foil if it browns too quickly. Serves 8.