butternut squash bread pudding

Oh dear.  It’s been a week since we last caught up.  How was your Thanksgiving?  Filled with turkey, and ham, and cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, I hope.  Mine was, too, except it also included Butternut Squash Bread Pudding.  And it was glorious.

This delicious recipe was scouted out by my aunt, and I first became acquainted with it when she used me as a taste-tester about a month or so ago.  I was amazed by how perfectly bread pudding-y the texture of the dish is, while at the same time being savory.  There’s a healthy amount of fresh sage, which I love, and 1 and 1/2 pounds of butter nut squash–YUM.

If you’re so inclined to make this for your next big holiday meal, I think it’s important to note that, if you’re trying to cut down on the number of sides you’re serving, this dish could very easily take the place of your standard dressing (i.e. stuffing that was never stuffed in a bird).  Just a thought.

Butternut Squash Bread Pudding

Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine, November 2010

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish

2 medium onions, chopped

1 and 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I bought mine pre-cut in the veggie section)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

6 large eggs

2 cups whole milk

3/4 pound soft French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 7 and 1/2 cups)

1/2 lb Gruyere, grated (2 cups)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Oil a 2 and 1/2- to a 3-quart baking dish.

2.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the squash, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, tossing frequently, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.  Stir in the sage.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Add the bread, cheese, and squash mixture, and toss to coat.

4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown and set, 55 to 60 minutes.

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