Sunday 2 June 2013

Savoury Vegetable Bread Pudding

From Fresh from the Vegetarian Cooker, Robin Robertson, The Harvard Common Press, 2004.
I didn’t quite know what to expect when I began this recipe. I guess I had the idea that it would be some kind of loaf that you could slice yet I had doubts about how this could be made in a slow cooker. I thought it would be worth trying to see what happened. 

I took a cup of haricot beans, poured boiling water over them and then put them in the microwave for 5 minutes. They were then drained and placed in a saucepan with some water to cook until soft. This took a little over an hour.
Now an onion was chopped and cooked slowly in a little oil in a large pan while the other vegetables were prepared. I chopped half a red capsicum; I grated a zucchini and a carrot and sliced a few button mushrooms. These now went into the pan with the onion that had now softened. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of chilli flakes. The mixture was cooked for a few minutes until it had begun to soften. It was now left while the next stage was prepared. 

The cooked beans went into the blender with a little over a teaspoon Dijon mustard. A little more salt and two cups stock were added. They were blended until smooth and poured into the vegetable mixture. About 100g mozzarella was grated and added.
Now 4 slices of sour dough bread were sliced and cut into smaller pieces. A layer of bread went into the bottom of the slow cooker, then a layer of vegetables, layer of bread, layer of vegetables, layer of bread and final layer of vegetables. It was all pressed down a little and cooked on low for 4 hours.
This was a disappointing recipe. The mixture had firmed well but could not be turned out of the cooker in a block as I had anticipated. It had to be spooned out and plated and looked unappetising. It was rather dry and needed a sauce of some sort to enliven it. Tomato sauce and a hot green salsa were tried. Both improved it no end, though possibly the tomato sauce worked best.
Taste: ✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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