Episode 34: Yotam Ottolenghi
Chef, Cookbook Author, Creator and Food Personality
What a treat it was to interview Yotam Ottolenghi last week for our Weekly Dish radio show podcast. Yotam will be in town on May 5, at 7 p.m. for Voices 22, the speaker series at Temple Israel. Get your tickets here. Stephanie and I really enjoyed talking with him about hospitality, cooking, covid, and where he likes to vacation.
I loved chatting with him about his “Covid Cooking.” Here is a link to his mushroom polenta dish that I have made that is great. Cakes? He also mentioned he still loves making cakes. Here is a lemon pound cake recipe he inspired and his best chocolate cake.
My favorite part of the conversation, the part I really related to, was where he talked about cooking during Covid and how you didn’t dare throw anything away, including every scrap of stale bread (sourdough baking anyone?). He used up his bread and veggie and cheese scraps by making savory bread puddings. I do this too.
The bread puddings are super versatile and you can use any leftover veggies, meats, or cheeses. Breakfast bread puddings with fruit or even chocolate chips are always a hit. Add some frozen hashbrowns and onions to a basic bread pudding recipe and in the midwest, we call it egg bake.
Here is the recipe for my savory bread pudding - a newsletter exclusive to say thanks for following along. I appreciate you.
Exclusive Newsletter Recipe
Savory Bread Pudding
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups milk
1 cup cream
2 cups Gruyère cheese
1 cup Mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup reserved)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated on a micro-plane grater
2 cups spinach
¼ cup fresh dill
⅓ cup fresh chives, chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 loaf stale crusty sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Grease a 9x12-inch casserole dish with butter.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten.
Whisk the milk and cream into the eggs until combined.
Add 1 cup of the Gruyere cheese along with the 1/2 cup Mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, mustard, garlic, spinach, dill, and chives to the egg mixture, and stir until combined.
Season the custard with salt and pepper.
Add the cubed bread to the custard and gently toss the bread until each piece is fully coated.
Transfer the bread mixture to the casserole dish. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and place the pudding in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook the bread pudding, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of Mozzarella cheese over the top of the bread pudding.
Place the baking dish in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, and the pudding is set, about 40 minutes.
Remove the pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before slicing into individual portions and serving warm.