This was in Orangette's column in the November issue of Bon Appetit, and it will be on our Thanksgiving table. It is autumnal and indulgent and kaley. The first time we tried the recipe, we forgot the salt, and it wasn't very good. It's amazing what a difference a little salt makes. The second time we tried it, it was fabulous. I love the way the kale on the top dries out and gets a little chewy. This recipe has six eggs, a bunch of half and half, and a ton of cheese, so I wouldn't recommend it for everyday eating, but it's perfect for a food-centric holiday when you want to be a little naughty and undo the top button of your pants.
Butternut-kale bread pudding
I made a couple small changes to the original recipe. They are reflected below.
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil (not extra-virgin), divided
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 1/4 cups half and half
6 tbsp dry white wine
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 day-old baguette, crusts intact, torn or sliced into 1-inch pieces (get the grocery store to slice it for you to save some time and effort)
1 cup chopped onion
1 lb kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
5 oz extra-sharp cheddar, grated
Heat oven to 400 F. Place squash in a large baking pan, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 20 minutes or until squash is soft, stirring occasionally.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, wine mustard, and salt. Gently stir bread into mixture and let it soak for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice.
Saute onion in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat until translucent. Add kale, cover, and cook just a couple minutes, until kale is bright green but slightly wilted. Set aside.
After the squash comes out of the oven, reduce temperature to 350 F. Butter or oil 9"x13" baking dish thoroughly. (I use the same dish for the squash as for the final product, and I oil it in between.) Place about half the bread mixture on the bottom. Spoon about half the kale over it, top that with half the squash, and then cover with half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread, kale, squash, and cheese, pouring any leftover egg mixture over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until custard is set and feels a little springy. If exploding Pyrex hasn't scarred you for life, turn on the broiler and broil it for 2 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown. Let cool for five minutes before serving.
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