Spinach and Artichoke Bread Pudding (Stuffing Muffins)

This is a great change from the usual stuffing – goes really well with any roast – beef, turkey, chicken or lamb. We’ve had it with all! Now a family favourite. Even better is that leftovers make a fantastic snack or breakfast.

Spinach Artichoke Bread Pudding

Trust me - this will be your new favourite savory stuffing or bread pudding! Trust me – this will be your new favourite savory stuffing or bread pudding!

Preheat oven to 350

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 tbsp roughly chopped garlic

Saute until onions, celery and garlic are soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl combine:
12-14 cups cubed stale bread (I like calabrese or french)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp Italian seasonings
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 tin artichoke hearts, roughly chopped (tough outer leaves removed)
1/4 cup minced parsley

Toss gently to combine

Mix together:
4 large eggs
3 cups cream
2 cups milk

Add the onion mixture and the egg/milk/cream mixture to the large bowl with bread and vegetables.

If the bread does not absorb all the liquid right away – set aside until it does.

Put all the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish and sprinkle the top with more freshly grated parmesan and a dusting of salt and pepper. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour.

Our family really likes the crunchy bits of stuffing or bread pudding, so I baked this earlier in the day in muffin tins so there were lots of edges, then turned it into a clay baker and warmed it all up for dinner.

If you really want to take this over the top …. crumble a bit of brie cheese into the dry mixture before adding the onion and milk mixtures.

Sweet Basil Pesto

I think one of my favorite herbs is basil – always makes me think of summer and freshness – drinking Holy Basil Tea right now in fact!!

Basil Pesto

3 cloves garlic

4 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1/3 cup finely grated best quality parmesan cheese

2 tbsp lemon juice

2/3 cup olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

drop garlic cloves into food processor while it is running, continuing with basil, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice and salt.  Pulse after it is finely chopped, and with motor still running slowly add oil – scrape down the side of the bowl a few times. Do another couple pulses just to make sure it is all finely blended.

This keeps easily in the fridge for up to a week, and will store well in freezer also.  Either freeze in small containers, or in ice cube trays.  Once they have frozen in the trays, pop them out and store in a ziplock bag.

This makes an amazing pasta dish – toss it with freshly cooked pasta, adding either a bit of the pasta cooking water or heavy cream, whichever is your preference that night!  

Other suggestions:

Pizza topping, with prawns and carmelized red onions – sprinkle with fresh spinach

Blend with butter and spread on french bread for an alternative to garlic bread

Top a grilled steak with a tbsp of pesto

blend 1 tbsp with 2 tbsp red wine vinegar & 5 tbsp olive oil for a salad dressing