Artichoke, Gruyere and Spinach Savory Bread Pudding

Artichoke, Gruyere and Spinach Savory Bread Pudding

I remember when Scarlett was real little. I was killing some time one afternoon after a Gymboree class and got to talking to another mom. Her one daughter was nearly Scarlett’s age but her older daughter was around 5. As I stared at the 5-year old impatiently waiting for her little sister to maneuver across a shallow balance beam I thought, “I wonder what it’s like having such a big kid?” It felt like eons before Scarlett could ever be that age. I then asked the silliest question of her mom: “What’s it like to have a such a big girl? It must be easier.” She turned to me and, without missing a beat, said, “Bigger girl, bigger problems.

So here I am with a 6 year old and our challenges have certainly grown up. I can’t believe I even bothered to worry about when to stop swaddling or how I was going to get her to do something other than pee in the toilet. Today’s problems of periodic listening skills (This is the 100th time I’ve asked you to get into the shower.) or friendship alliances that leave her to the side seem more like the real deal. Or are they? Is this all going to be a cake walk in comparison to cyber bullying and the friendship chess match of teenage girls? I’m going to take a gamble and figure this stuff isn’t as big and bad as it seems. Instead I’ll try to consider them more “mini” problems.

Frittata 24582

Photos by Maya Visnyei

It’s actually how you may want to consider dinner. A “mini” issue associated with your day–Kind of like when you’ll weasel time into your schedule to go pick up the clothes the dry cleaner now considers his own. You don’t just have to minimize the stress you put on dinner, you can also just shrink the dinner. Like I did with these little, single-serving bread puddings. We’ve made them a few times now and we’re addicted. It’s my spin on a recipe I saw created by Giada de Laurentiis. On one episode of her show, she threw them together for a picnic where she spent the afternoon flying a kite with her tiny daughter. I thought if you have time to make these mini frittatas, as she calls them, then go fly a kite, they’ve got to be fast and good. And they are. In fact, they left me with some spare time after dinner. We didn’t fly a kite or anything but we also didn’t worry about homework. It’s just not that big of a problem right now.

Artichoke, Gruyere and Spinach Savory Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can artichokes hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
  • 2 thick slices of crusty country bread cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups packed chopped spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grated gruyere
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil

Method

Preheat the oven to 400

Divide one tablespoon of butter between 4 10-ounces ramekins and place them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven on the middle rack and allow the butter to melt.

Remove baking sheet from oven and swirl the butter around in the ramekins, up the sides and across the bottom.

Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and add the shallots as well as the salt and pepper.

Cook until they soften, about 3 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread, spinach and cheese.

Add the shallots, artichoke hearts, milk and eggs and mix.

Sprinkle in the basil.

Spoon the mixture into prepared ramekins.

Place the baking sheet of ramekins back in the oven and cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow ramekins to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve in ramekins or run a paring knife around the edges to loosen the pudding and turn out onto plates.

Serve warm with a side salad.

Frittata Prep 24565 1

 

 

This post was originally printed on April 18, 2013

 

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