Mushroom, Butternut Squash and Sausage Bread Pudding
Pairs Well With
3 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into ¾-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon pepper, divided
About 2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ pound mixed mushrooms, sliced (the more flavorful your mushroom choice, the better)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 pound ground Italian sausage
6 cups cubed rustic bread, cut into cubes and left out to get stale
3 cups 2% milk (or half & half, whole milk, etc.)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon flour
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F. Heap squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan and sauté leeks with ¼ teaspoon salt until softened. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes and add mixture to squash.
In same pan, brown ground sausage. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and add mushrooms. Sauté until they have released their liquid and are beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add thyme and add to squash mixture.
Stir bread into veggies and scoop into a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
Whisk together milk, eggs, remaining salt and pepper, the flour and parmesan in a mixing bowl. Pour custard over bread mixture and let stand for 10 minutes. Top with gruyere, then bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown and custard is just set – 30 to 35 minutes.
Serves 6 as a main dish or 8-10 as a side
This recipe by longtime tasting host Lori Myers can be adapted to fit many food/lifestyle choices. Just by switching or omitting ingredients, it can work for many occasions. Leave the sausage out and it’s vegetarian. Switch out the half and half for whole milk or soy milk, and it is much lower in calories. Not a mushroom fan, try artichoke hearts. Acorn squash or even sweet potato can stand in for the butternut. For her effort, Lori wins a magnum of Coopersmith Pinot Noir, which pairs beautifully with these flavors and textures.