Leek Bread Pudding

Folks, we’ve got leeks.  Lots of leeks.  And unlike most of our other late fall harvest items, they won’t be sticking around through March, so if you’re a leek lover, carpe allium diem!  Get your stews, gratins, and maybe even holiday-worthy bread puddings going.

Makes one loaf. Double the recipe to fit in a 9×13 baking dish. Serves 6 as a side dish.


1.5 cups of leeks in 1/2-inch thick slices, white and light green parts only,

coarse salt, black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 cups 1-inch-cubed bread (a rich bread like brioche would be best)

1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

3 cups whole milk, heavy cream or a mix of the two

A pinch freshly grated nutmeg

3/4 cup shredded Comté, Emmanthaler or Swiss cheese


Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add leeks. Season with salt, and sauté until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in butter. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are very soft, about 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While leeks are cooking, spread bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until dry and pale gold, about 15 to 20 minutes (already-stale bread will take less time to brown), turning pan about halfway through. Transfer to a large bowl, leaving the oven on. Add leeks and thyme to the bowl of bread; toss well.

In another large bowl, whisk the egg, egg yolks, and milk/cream together, adding a generous pinch of salt, pepper to taste and a pinch of nutmeg.

Layer cheese and bread mixture in a greased 9″x5″ loaf pan. Pour in enough milk mixture to cover bread, and gently press on bread so milk soaks in. Let rest 15 minutes. Add remaining milk mixture, letting some bread cubes protrude. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake until pudding is set and top is brown and bubbling, about 55 to 65 minutes. Serve hot or cold.