Bread pudding doesn’t have to be sweet, and this savory version offers tremendous depth of flavor from the sausage, Gruyere and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses and escarole. To complement that richness, pair the pudding with a fresh, slightly bitter salad.

Watch Feast TV host Cat Neville make this recipe from start to finish in our Artisan Bread episode. Produce and dairy provided by Ole Tyme Produce, wine provided by Missouri Wines and cookware and kitchen gadgets provided by IKEA with additional sponsorship provided by Kaldi's Coffee Roasting Co. and The Raphael Hotel. Thank you to our sponsors, who make the show possible.

Savory Bread Pudding with a Salad of Bitter Greens

Recipe by Catherine Neville

Yield | 6 to 8 servings |

Sausage and Escarole Bread Pudding

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter, plus more for buttering baking dish
  • 1 large yellow onion, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb bulk hot or mild Italian sausage
  • 1 cup sliced escarole leaves
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • fresh-grated nutmeg to taste
  • ½ lb stale good quality bread, cubed

| Preparation | Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat and then gently saute onion until translucent and just starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sausage and saute until sausage is turning brown. Add escarole and parsley, stir and remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk milk and eggs and then stir in Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Toss in bread cubes, ensuring the bread is evenly coated with the milk mixture. If the bread seems dry, add more milk. Carefully stir in sausage and escarole.

Pour pudding into individual portions in buttered ramekins or go family style and pour into a buttered 9-by-13 baking dish. Bake until top is golden and a knife inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, about 30 minutes.

Simple Bitter Greens Salad

  • 1 head escarole, tough white parts removed, chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, thinly julienned
  • 3 heads endive, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • good quality olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • handful chopped walnuts
  • good quality Gorgonzola to taste

| Preparation | In a large bowl, toss the greens with the shallot, then drizzle with olive (or walnut) oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning. Top with walnuts and Gorgonzola and serve.

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