Recipe: Asparagus “Muffin” Pudding

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I’m somewhat obsessed with savory bread puddings. Those anything-is-possible eggy-bready-cheesey casseroles. I went a bit mad for them in 2008—hence Tomato Bread Pudding, Summer Squash Bread Pudding and Pumpkin Apple Bread Pudding. I had a fun idea to make them bite-sized for snacks, breakfast on-the-go or as a side dish to a weekend brunch. Paired with Italian fontina and rosemary, these little guys are in the oven in less than 20 and in your mouth in less than 60!

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Servings: 24
Time: About 20 minutes active; 50 minutes total

1 pound asparagus, trimmed (hold spear at both ends and bend, it will snap at the right place)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 3/4 cup milk (I used soy)
5 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this still makes a mild muffin)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced (or fresh thyme or oregano)
4 ounces Italian fontina, cut into 1/4″ cubes (or other flavorful, melting cheese)
6 ounces bread, cut into 1″ cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, heat grill or grill pan (or you can roast in the oven at 450 degrees). Brush asparagus with extra virgin olive oil and grill 5–7 minutes, turning mid-way through. Remove from heat, let cool, and then cut into 1″ pieces.

3. In a large bowl, whisk milk, eggs, salt, pepper, cayenne and rosemary. Set aside.
4. Set up a station of asparagus, cheese, egg custard and bread. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Ladle egg custard into each cup, filling 3/4. Add 2 bread cubes, 2–3 cheese cubes, and 5–8 pieces of asparagus into each cup.

5. Bake for 25–30 minutes until egg custard is set. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing. Run a knife around the cup and remove gently (you could also use cupcake papers to make this a breeze!) and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty, lifestyle.