About this recipe: A simple, homely dish of diced challah bread baked in a cheesy custard with leeks and spring onions makes great comfort food, and is an excellent way to use up slightly stale bread. Serve with a crisp salad of cos or Little Gem lettuce leaves tossed with sliced cucumber and halved cherry tomatoes.
Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.
Make sun-dried tomato bread pudding with peppers. Thickly slice 340 g (12 oz) day-old sun-dried tomato-flavoured bread. Cut 100 g (3½ oz) Emmenthal cheese into thin slices and use to make sandwiches with the bread. Cut the sandwiches in half, then arrange in a single layer in a lightly greased 2 litre (3½ pint) shallow ovenproof dish. Scatter over 3 seeded and finely diced peppers (1 green, 1 yellow and 1 red). Beat 3 eggs with 600 ml (1 pint) semi-skimmed milk, 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the sandwiches and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the surface with 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese and bake as in the main recipe. * For olive bread pudding, in the sun-dried tomato bread pudding above, use olive bread instead of sun-dried tomato bread and replace the sun-dried tomato paste with tapenade (black olive paste).
Emmenthal, a Swiss cheese made from cow's milk, has a sweet and nutty flavour. With the other dairy products used here, it makes a significant contribution to the total protein and calcium content of the dish. * Challah bread, which is enriched with egg, is a good source of starchy carbohydrate. At least half the calories in a healthy diet should come from starchy foods. * Both the white bulb and green leaves of spring onions are edible, and using the leaves increases the amount of carotene in this dish.
A, B12, calcium, copper, selenium * B1, B2, B6, C, folate, niacin, zinc * E, iron, potassium