Roasted-Parsnip Bread Pudding
Parsnips give an earthy dimension to this bread pudding, which melds cubes of brioche, grated cheese, and thyme. The vegetarian dish is yummy enough to sub for traditional stuffing. Assemble it the night before, and bake it the day of the meal.
- 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
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.
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.
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.)
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.