Asparagus and Morel Bread Pudding

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“Came across this recipe in The Washington Post & am saving to use for Easter Dinner. Full of things that sing spring to me - eggs, asparagus, morels & green garlic. Much of it can be readily available in home gardens - not the morels though. I have my patches throughout the country but, sorry, not telling where any of them are. Green garlic (immature garlic whose leaves are still green) is simmered with the milk for flavor. I did not try to list green garlic in the ingredients - it was driving me wild. Dried mushrooms will work for this dish as well - readily available on-line if not in your locale. Adapted from Deborah Madison's "Local Flavors" (Broadway Books, 2002).”
1hr 50mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 bulb of garlic, coarsely chopped (may substitute 8-10 cloves regular garlic)
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 lb bread, rustic white, torn into chunks (preferably stale)
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 lbs asparagus (peeled, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/3-inch pieces and soaked in cold water)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 shallot, finely diced (2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 lb morel (or chanterelle)
  • 34 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 eggs, large
  • 13 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons marjoram, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Fontina cheese, freshly grated (or Gruyere)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-by-12-inch baking or gratin dish.
  2. Combine the garlic and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and set aside to steep (5 to 8 minutes).
  3. If the bread is not stale, lay it on a large baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes until crisp (but not hard, or the pudding will be mushy). Put bread in a large dish. Pour the milk through a strainer over the bread (discarding the garlic) and let it sit while you prepare the vegetables, turning the bread occasionally so that it soaks up as much of the liquid as possible.
  4. Fill a large skillet 2/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lightly salt the water and add the asparagus pieces; cook about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
  5. Melt half the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the mushrooms. Increase the heat to high and cook for several minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms brown in places and exude their liquid. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the parsley, tarragon or marjoram, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add the soaked bread and any liquid left in the dish, the asparagus-mushroom mixture and its juices and 2/3 of the cheese, mixing well. Pour into the prepared baking or gratin dish and use a spatula to even it out. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and dot with the remaining butter.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until puffed and golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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