Parsnip Leek Potato Bread Pudding

March 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm 17 comments


It almost seems silly to slide this dish, as delicious as it is, across the table to you right now when it would seem spring has officially come to visit my neck of the woods (as I write, there’s a thunderstorm rolling through!).  You see, this rustic savory bread pudding is full of winter delights – parsnips, sweet potato, farm fresh eggs, and leeks – when you might very well be able to snag some fresh greens already from your progressive local farmer who’s been putting his or her hoop house to good use.  But let’s face it, crisp tender green things are still few and far between and with the cool rainy days sure to come yet, a hearty helping of this bread pudding will do you a world of good. 

Eggs and Cream

When you sit and contemplate the ingredients in this recipe, it’s hard to think of a dish that would provide a more balanced meal.  I say this to possibly justify the fact that I ate the entire casserole dish of it myself over the course of last week; it was such a wonderful microwaved lunch!  In any case, it has loads of protein from the eggs, lots and lots of vitamins from the vegetables (including much needed vitamin C with the wave of sniffles going around), and ample carbs to rev you up.  And, if you can be a real optimist, there’s a good bit calcium from the heavy cream. 

Bread and Pudding

Individual ingredients and their notable merits aside, it’s the entirety of this dish that makes it worthy of your dinner table of lunchtime Tupperware.  The flavor is rich and the texture comfortingly soft and filling.  And the aroma while it’s in the oven is sure to draw a hungry crowd, eager to dig in.  It’s worth noting though that I actually enjoyed this bread pudding more after it had spent a night ruminating in the fridge, its flavors playing leapfrog and tumbling together.

Parsnip Leek Potato Bread Pudding

Oh, before I let you scurry off to gather ingredients or go back to your busy work day,  just remember that now is the time to sign up for a CSA share for the coming season so you can get a box of delicious produce every week without fail.  Don’t put it off as the CSAs around here at least fill up fast.  Here’s a link to a national directory of farms that provide a CSA option.  You can also check for others at  And if you live in Philadelphia, last I heard, Henry Got Crops (a part of the Weavers Way Farm sites) still had shares available.   Soon there’ll be asparagus and rhubarb and tender greens aplenty.  Yum!

Ripple Pottery Bowl and Ready to Eat

P.S. – The amazing pottery pieces in the photos today are handmade by the talented guys at Ripple Pottery out of New Hampshire.  Aren’t they beautifully organic in their colors and shapes? 

Parsnip Leek Potato Bread Pudding
A Straight from the Farm Original

1 large or 2 small parsnips
1 medium sweet potato
1 large leek
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. butter
1 C. vegetable stock
1/2 t. fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 loaf of challah bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 C. heavy cream
3 T. melted butter
5 eggs
1 t. fresh grated nutmeg
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Begin by scrubbing the parsnips and sweet potato well, peeling (if desired), and coarsely grating using the large holes on a box grater or food processor.  Set aside. 

Slice the leeks very thinly, discarding the dark green parts.  Place in a bowl of water and swish to remove all grit and sand.  Drain off water and lay leeks on a paper towel to dry. 

In a large skillet, heat the oil and two tablespoons of butter until hot and melted.  Add the prepared vegetables and stir briskly to coat evenly.  Continue to saute for 2-3 minutes; when vegetables begin to look a little dry, add the cup of vegetable stock and turn down the heat to medium low so vegetable can simmer.  Add the rosemary , marjoram and cumin and stir well.  Continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and translucent.  Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before mixing with the remaining ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. 

In the biggest bowl you have, whisk the heavy cream, three tablespoons of melted butter, eggs, and nutmeg until well combined.  Add 3/4 cup of the cheese, holding back the remainder to use on top of the bread pudding.   Stir in the vegetable mixture and then fold in the bread cubes.* 

Prepared a shallow 2 quart baking dish by spraying with non-stick spray.  Carefully pour in the bread mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Spray another piece of foil with non-stick spray on one side and lay that side down over top of the bread pudding, loosely folding over the edges of the dish.  Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.  Remove foil and return to oven for another 5-10 minutes until top is beautifully browned and crunchy. 

*At this point, you can cover the bowl in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and put it in the fridge overnight if you’d like to prepare this dish in advance.   The bread pudding is also excellent  as reheated leftovers. 

(serves 8-10)


Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , .

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kelli  |  March 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    lovely photos!

  • 2. Food-Fitness-FreshAir  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    This sounds wonderful. Leeks, sweet potatoes, Parmesan…so many good flavors going on!

  • 3. jennifer  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    I am new to your blog and have really enjoyed it. Great work and many thanks.

    • 4. Jennie  |  March 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      Welcome, Jennifer! So glad you found the blog. Come back often! 🙂

  • 5. Marisa  |  March 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Oh wow, that pottery is absolutely amazing! I’m particularly in love with that pitcher.

  • 6. Joanne  |  March 22, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    I could personally eat bread pudding all day, every day, year round. Especially if it contains sweet potatoes.

    This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

  • 7. Jeanne  |  March 23, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Beautiful photos, and I do love that pottery! This bread pudding sounds excellent, the perfect treat to create with our remaining winter vegetables.

  • 8. ziabaki  |  March 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Wow, I like the way you look at things. Your eye is so different and refreshing. The pottery is so earthy and adds a deep note to the photos. And the recipe! Who would of thunk to put all those yummy winter things together to form a perfect comfort food dish. Thank you

  • 9. Valen  |  March 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I could eat this all year round!

  • 10. fallenangel65  |  March 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I have no idea why – but savory breadpudding never occurred to me. Now you have me wondering what would go with a really nice dark pumperknickle bread….

    • 11. Jennie  |  March 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      Mmmm….I like the way you think!! I bet this very recipe would be delicious with pumperknickle…maybe up the sweet potato though. Good stuff!

  • 12. The Unusual Farm Chick  |  March 28, 2010 at 3:26 am

    I LOVE sweet potatoes and am always looking for different ways to incorporate them in recipes. I will be making this as a dish to bring for Easter dinner.
    Thank you for sharing this. I can not wait to do a trial making of it this week. I’m sure the family will love it so I best make 2 pans worth. 🙂

  • 13. lo  |  March 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    LOVE the pottery, but the thought of this bread pudding is making me swoon just a bit. What a great combination of flavors… now, if only those spring leeks were ready for harvest here…

  • 14. Elizabeth Kiniry  |  April 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I made this over the weekend to take to a BBQ. It got rave reviews. Even from my husband who was skeptical. It is definitely a keeper!

    • 15. Jennie  |  April 5, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Oh yay!! Thanks so much for letting me know how you liked it, Elizabeth. 🙂

  • 16. Natasha Khouri  |  April 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm


    Very good!

    I had only one small sweet potato, lots of parsnips, and threw in some chopped celery as well. Good way to use up old homemade black bread I had in the freezer. Did it with half and half instead of cream, less butter, and egg whites instead of eggs. Still came out well.


  • […] Source: Adapted from Straight from the Farm 1 large or 2 small parsnips 1 medium sweet potato 2 large leeks, sliced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 […]


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