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Leek and brie bread pudding

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The Runaway Spoon

(Read caption) There's no meat in this breakfast bread pudding, so it's perfect for a vegetarian brunch, or served with a side of bacon or ham.

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Spring is the perfect time for brunch. With Easter starting things off, there always seems to be an explosion of daytime events. Graduations and weddings and all the celebrations that go with them. 

And I love a good family brunch. You can wear a nice dress, but don’t have to worry about high heels and punitive undergarments and retouching your lipstick every 10 minutes. I still look forward to finding my fun spring dress like I did when I was kid. And the food. A generous buffet spread, with everyone roaming around and eating and chatting – and eating some more. This may be my favorite form of entertaining.

This dish fits the bill perfectly. It is rich and elegant, but with a light, fluffy texture that will amaze. And you can make it ahead and just pop it in the oven before the brunch, so no early morning scrambling in the kitchen. Leeks, brie and wine bring up the sophistication level, and it is a happy change from a typical egg-cheese-sausage morning casserole. And it also has no meat, which is great if there is a ham, bacon or sausage on the table, too. 

Now, I have given you lots of reasons this is a perfect brunch dish, but in the recipe testing process, I served it to my book club for dinner and it was a hit. A little green salad on the side and you’re in for a treat.

Leek and brie bread pudding
Serves 8 – 10 

16 ounce loaf soft Italian bread (no hard crusts)

3 medium leeks, white and light green parts

4 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup white wine or vermouth, plus 2 tablespoons [may substitute cooking wine]

8 ounces brie

10 eggs

1 tablespoon salt

generous grinds of black pepper

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or thyme

4 cups milk

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