Sometimes when planning a party menu, I’ll think I have it all set and then I’ll run across a dish in a magazine or on TV that calls to me…that was the case with this bread pudding. I had planned on a different side dish for a large dinner party and then saw Giada making this one morning and it was perfect for my menu. It will be perfect for yours too, I promise. I served this tomato-basil bread pudding in winter, along with salmon, salad, and roasted green beans. But it would also work for a summer lunch with just a salad or even an outdoor dinner in the spring.
You need a multi-grain loaf of bread, olive oil, shallots, garlic, cherry or grape tomatoes, fresh basil, and shredded Parmesan. For the custard, use 6 large eggs, 1 cup whole milk and salt and pepper.
Cut the bread into 3/4-inch cubes and spread in a buttered 9×13-inch baking dish. I have 3 dishes because I was making this for a large party.
Cook the shallots and garlic about a minute, until slightly tender, then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in basil and pour the tomato mixture over the bread cubes. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.
Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until smooth and pour over the bread mixture, tossing gently to coat all the bread. Bake about 30 minutes, until slightly puffed and golden.