Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meatless Main Holiday Entree - Roasted-Parsnip Bread Pudding

So every year I like to surprise my vegetarian husband and parents with a "special" meatless dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And every year I search and search and search through all of my cookbooks and online for the perfect "entertaining" meatless main dish.  Well this year I decided to try a savory bread pudding, especially since I just happen to have a pound of parsnips in the refrigerator.  This is a delicious recipe that I found on the Martha Stewart site and it was a cinch to prepare.  I love that you can make this dish up to a day ahead and it tastes just like you made it that day!  This is the perfect dish to entertain with and everyone, even meat eaters will like this dish.  This dish can be used as a main dish for your non-meat eating friends or as a side dish for your meat-eating friends.  Either way, this is a great dish to entertain with!  And another plus, this savory bread pudding tastes even better the next day!  Enjoy...

Roasted-Parsnip Bread Pudding
(Martha Stewart Living, November 2009)

Serves 6 to 8 persons


1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons), melted, plus more for dish
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (about 3 cups)
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 loaf (12 ounces) brioche, crust removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle parsnips with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking occasionally, until caramelized and tender, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool. Reduce heat to 375.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a medium saute pan until melted. Add leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add wine, and return to heat. Let simmer until reduced, 1 minute. Add thyme, and remove from heat. Stir in roasted parsnips.
  3. Whisk together melted butter, heavy cream, eggs, and 3/4 cup Parmesan in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add leek-parsnip mixture, then fold in bread. (Mixture can be refrigerated overnight.)
  4. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish, and pour parsnip mixture into dish. Cover loosely with parchment, then foil, and bake until golden brown and puffed, 50 minutes. Remove parchment and foil. Sprinkle with remaining cup Parmesan, and return to oven. Bake for 10 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Cook's Note:

-You can substitute half and half for heavy cream to reduce the calories and fat in this dish and make it healthier.
-I also used Challah bread with the crust instead of Brioche (with the crush removed) since this is what I already had on hand.
-Make sure to generously butter your baking dish to ensure that the pudding doesn't stick to the pan.
-You can make this dish a day ahead by following the directions through the baking step.  Place the dish, covered with parchment and foil in the fridge.  When you are ready to bake, take out of fridge and allow to come to room temperature for at least 10-15 minutes before baking.