CapreseBreadButterPudTitleW 

If I say "Fat Duck" or "Heston Blumenthal", what is the first specific dish that springs to mind?  I'd bet my bottom dollar it's either egg and bacon ice cream of snail porridge.  The question is why these two dishes in particular have so grabbed the public's imagination.

I don't think it's that either of them is a particularly radical dish in terms of taste.  OK, the ice cream is probably the more radical of the two because of the idea of a salty breakfast dish in your ice cream.  But wait – pretty much all ice cream contains eggs – this one just contains a few more.  And as for the salty bacon – how is ice cream with a salty meat flavour so very different from ice cream with a salty caramel flavour?  Salted butter caramel ice cream, anybody?  Sounds less peculiar when you think about it that way, doesn't it? Aaah, but what about the freaky snail porridge, you ask?  Well, would it make you feel better if I told you it was snails served on an oat risotto?  Probably – and that's pretty much what it is!

You see, the thing that makes these dishes seem so radical is not the taste – it's the playing around with our entrenched expectations.  The chef knows that you expect eggs and bacon to be part of a savoury dish; and that you expect your morning porridge to be sweet and spicy or fruity.  So the shock reaction that these dishes generate has more to do with what's going on in our brains than in our tastebuds.

The first dishes I ate like these that play around with expectations were chocolate spring rolls at Wickerwoods restaurant in Port Elizabeth and a chocolate and rosemary dessert soup at the lovely Bestial in Barcelona.  And what can I say – I was hooked on the idea.  But so far the only dish I've made along these lines is a savoury tarte tatin.  Everybody expected a dessert and I presented them with a vegetable side dish.  Voila!

I've always wanted to do more dishes like this – maybe a vegetable clafoutis; or some fruit soups; or savoury sorbets; or a pizza with a chocolatey topping… and this month's Waiter, There's Something in My… event gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment!  Sadly, though, you all seem to think that the theme is too challenging, judging by the number of entries I've received :( It's not – really, I promise!!  Just look at all the suggestions I've given you!  I am going to feel slightly foolish doing a roundup of fewer than 10 entries, so in the hope that my effort has inspired you, I'm going to extend the deadline to Friday 6 February. Please do join in – I promise you it's easier than you think. 

I managed it – and I'm the Queen of Lazy!

This savoury bread and butter pudding is based around the idea of using the flavours of a classic Italian caprese salad of tomato, mozzarella and basil, but incorporating them into an eggy bake with thick slices of white bread.  The end result was a resounding hit – kind of like a pizza casserole, with crispy bread on top and eggy, cheesy goodness mixing with the concentrated tomato and basil flavours below.  Nick has voted that I make it again and if that isn't a vote of confidence I don't know what is :)

CapreseBread&ButterPudWeb

CapreseBread&ButterPud3Web 

CAPRESE BREAD & BUTTER PUDDING (serves 2)

Ingredients:

4-6 thick slices of day-old white bread
butter
1 large ball of mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 ripe plum (or about 8 baby plum) tomatoes, sliced
a handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
3 large or 4 small eggs
150ml milk or single cream
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 190C and lightly grease 1 large or 2 small (about 10cm x 10cm) ovenproof dishes.

Butter the bread on one side only and cut each slice into 4 triangles.  Cover the base of the dish with overlapping triangles of bread, buttered side down, with the bread points pointing slightly upwards.  

Tuck tomato and mozzarella slices in between the slices of bread and sprinkle with half the basil.  Season with salt and black pepper.

Add another layer of bread, this time with the buttered side facing up and repeat the step above to add the tomato, mozzarella, basil and seasoning.  

Whisk together the eggs, milk/cream and oregano and pour over the bread layers as evenly as possible.  

Place on a baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the egg mix has set and the top is beginning to brown.  

Serve immediately with a big green salad.  This would also make a fantastic vegetarian main course for a dinner party – although you'll have to fight off the meat eaters! 

Get Free Email Updates

Never miss an update by subscribing to the blog now!

Leave a Comment

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Manggy February 1, 2009 at 9:02 pm

Oh, you meant 6 February right? Anyway, it’s so difficult to join these days as I’m away from my kitchen!
It’s tough to imagine tomatoes in custard but I have to admit it does look mighty tasty!

Reply

courtney February 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Yummm. I love the idea og vegetable calfloutis also.I would love to experiment with a savory bread pudding.I bet it taste delcious.

Reply

NAOmni February 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm

That looks fantastic!
NAOmni

Reply

elra February 1, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Ah ha…, I thought so
You came up with delicious sounding recipe. I can picture myself eating this in front of fire place, and talking with my husband about my days….
For him, hmmm this is tough. He doesn’t like anything custardy type of food.
Well done Jeanne.
Elra

Reply

Dragon February 2, 2009 at 2:17 am

I don’t think I’m brave enough to try egg and bacon ice cream of snail porridge. :) But I would love at least two servings of your lovely bread pudding.

Reply

Johanna February 2, 2009 at 2:22 am

I have savoury bread and butter pudding on my to do list – this one looks good! I will think about if I can get inspired to make something over this week – my main problem is the heat which limits what can be done – have made strawberry soup which was fantastic and also am in love with chocolate pizza! But you are giving me some food for thought now

Reply

elra February 2, 2009 at 6:12 am

Jeanne,
have no idea what happen, but I couldn’t submit my entry to your e-mail address. I’ve tried to send it twice, Friday and Saturday.
Cheers,
Elra

Reply

nina February 2, 2009 at 6:36 am

I like the idea of a savory bread and butter pudding….I prefer it to the traditional “paptert” that adorns many a SA “braai” menu! A warm Caprese…I like it a lot!

Reply

amy February 2, 2009 at 6:46 am

This recipe looks DELICIOUS!

Reply

Kit February 2, 2009 at 7:53 am

Wow – this looks great, Jeanne! Maybe I will give this theme a go – jsut a bit more imagination needed on my part! I did think of trying a sweet quiche for WTSIM yesterday, but didn’t have any cream, so maybe I will try to do it before Friday!

Reply

Meeta February 2, 2009 at 8:13 am

Oh I am loving this! it#s a wonderfully unique recipe and yet so easy. it also reminds me that i need to send you the link to my entry!

Reply

Audrey February 2, 2009 at 10:53 am

Try French bread sliced and buttered, interlaced with slices of camembert or brie then savoury custard. I’ve wanted to try it with green fig preserve included.

Reply

grace February 2, 2009 at 1:26 pm

yummy yum yum! it’s like a delicious sandwich that you eat with a spoon! great idea, jeanne. :)

Reply

johanna February 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm

glorious pictures and great idea!!! i am so glad you’re extending the deadline… i have made mine, but what with the children being sick last week and london drowning in snow, i can do with some more time! what is it with england that everything grinds to a halt at the first sign of snow?grantedm it’s chucked out over 20 cm overnight, but still… we have that in austria 4 months a year at least and life DOES go on and the kids DO go to school (much to their discontent)! have been making snowmen today, had a snow fight (chris in pjs… picture that!) and can’t wait now to make some goulash soup to enjoy in front of the fireplace!!!

Reply

Wendy T February 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm

Hi Jeanne, That looks very good, even for me who has a mental block against bread and butter pudding! Have a great week:)

Reply

Pink Sock Monkey February 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Pink Monkey is bug-eyed looking at the picture of your bread pudding! Two of her favorite things – tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella sandwiches and bread pudding. How could two soulmates intertwine better?
Monkey’s going to make this for her partner in monkey crime on his birthday in two weeks. He loves cheese. Pink Monkey loves cheese. Cheese is an expression of love.

Reply

Rosemary February 3, 2009 at 10:38 am

Time ran away with me, I had everything planned for my Mango Soup with Coconut bread-sticks, but…it will have to wait until the next round!
Sorry I missed out :(

Reply

Bellini Valli February 3, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Well done Jeanne. I love all of the flavours of a Caprese Salad so this bread pudding would be welcome on my table anytime!!

Reply

Gill February 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm

oooh this looks seriously good! And it seems to be quite easy to do – I want to try it!

Reply

Kevin February 4, 2009 at 2:05 am

I really like the sound of this savoury bread pudding! The tomatoes in it would get nice and roasted and good while it is baking as well.

Reply

Treehouse Chef February 4, 2009 at 3:25 am

This looks absolutely delicious! It includes my favorite ingredient in any recipe (Bread). Yummy!

Reply

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer February 4, 2009 at 11:02 pm

This looks off the charts good – What a unique & kick ass recipe !! I am so looking forward to making this one…{{hitting print}}

Reply

giz February 5, 2009 at 12:55 am

You only have to tell me one thing – this has no calories….ok?
That whole Heston Blumenthal episode was hilarious. Do you remember the look on his face when the duck expanded to incredible proportion. I’m still laughing.

Reply

santos. February 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm

hello ms. jeanne! happiest of new years to you. this looks sinfully delicious, and definitely diet-busting worthy (in moderate proportions, of course :))

Reply

Lane Bryant Coupons Girl February 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm

This sounds amazing and looks beautiful! I can’t wait to try it out.

Reply

Suganya February 5, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Ah, what a tasty looking dish. Love those tomatoes, shriveled and roasted.

Reply

Niamh February 6, 2009 at 12:39 am

Lovely idea for a savoury bread & butter pudding! Looks delicious.

Reply

Christina Nevin February 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Awesome idea! I think I might give this a whirl – definitely the weather for it.
Sorry I haven’t been in touch recently. Xmas and RL have been hectichectichectic!

Reply

Michelle February 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

This round of WTSIM really yields interesting results. I never would have thought of a savoury bread and butter pudding!

Reply

Browniegirl February 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

This looks and sounds divine, gonna have to try it…. thanx Jeanne xxx

Reply

Alissa March 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm

This recipe looks so yummy! I love bread and butter pudding, it has an incredible texture…so homely and warming :)

Reply

Angela@SpinachTiger May 9, 2009 at 6:27 am

I could stay on your blog all day long. I came here after drooling over baked alaska.

Reply

Previous post:

Next post:

blog counter