Tomato Basil Bread Pudding

Our garden is overflowing with basil! To keep our basil plants healthy, we pinch off anywhere flowers appear to preserve the flavor of the plants and channel the energy of the plant into growing more leaves. If the plant flowers and forms seeds, it will become woody and produce less yield. The leaves will also taste less sweet and bitter. With a bowl full of basil, I tested the Tomato Basil Bread Pudding recipe by Giada De Laurentiis (with a few changes based on what ingredients I had at home).

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


Butter, for greasing baking dish
8 oz multi-grain loaf, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 T olive oil  grape seed oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced  1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 3 cloves garlic, minced (I REALLY like garlic)
12 oz cherry or  4 grape tomatoes, halved (from our garden) and 1lb locally grown tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves (from our garden)
1 1/2 cups (6oz) shredded Parmesan

6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Filling: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Add the bread cubes and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots  onion and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese over the bread cubes and combine well.
Custard: In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 to 35 minutes (will take a little longer than Giada's original recipe because using more tomatoes which also have more water). Remove the pudding from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


  1. Holy smokes! I saw the title and immediately thought - yum-o!! Wish I was there to help you pick basil and eat this!!


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