Cheesy Cauliflower & Leek Bread Pudding 

This is one of Lauraine Jacobs’ favourite recipes from her book, Always Delicious. Pop it in the oven, set up your favourite movie and enjoy a family night in. Perfect.

“Everybody loves the sort of food that is a one-pot meal, filled with robust flavours and textures, and often prepared ahead. This dish, which proved to be an all-time Listener favourite is like that. It’s easy to eat with a fork, so friends and family can be cosily settled by the fire, plate in hand, with an accompanying glass or two of red wine to enjoy. The eggy custard puffs up in the oven, and with its crisp buttery top it’s the ultimate comfort food. If you want to serve it for eight people just double the quantities and choose a much larger dish. The vegetables can be prepared ahead, and the custard ingredients measured out but not beaten together, until you are ready to bake the dish.”

Cheesy Cauliflower & Leek Bread Pudding 

Serves 4. Ready in 60 minutes.

Wine suggestion: fruity chardonnay.
Best in: autumn/winter

Ingredients

  • 1 large leek
  • 50g butter
  • 200g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • ½ cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 large eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 150ml cream
  • 75g grated tasty gouda cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thick slices sourdough bread, crusts removed

Method

Butter an ovenproof casserole or soufflé dish. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Slice the leek finely. Melt the butter in a wide saucepan over gentle heat, add the leek and cook for 5 minutes until it softens without browning. Add the spinach leaves and toss over the heat until they wilt. Continue to cook for a minute or two so any juices evaporate. Set this aside.

Meanwhile bring salted water to the boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 minutes. Drain well and add to the leeks and spinach.

Place the eggs, milk and cream in a large bowl and whisk together. Add half the grated cheese, the feta, thyme, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste and mix well.

Cut the bread into large cubes and fold into egg mixture with the reserved vegetables. Tip everything into the prepared dish, and scatter over the remaining cheese. Allow the dish to sit for about 10 minutes so the bread absorbs some of the custard. Bake for about 45 minutes, until it is puffed and golden and still a little moist in the centre.

Serve immediately with a green salad.

Recipe extracted with permission from Always Delicious by Lauraine Jacobs, Potton & Burton, RRP $49.99