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Author Notes: In the food world there are two distinct camps - those that love savory-sweet combinations (salted caramel and the like) and those who find it an offense to the senses (my dear brother in law hates Caribbean food because of the frequent mango and meat combination - and don't even mention Hawaiian pizza to my husband). I am firmly in the former camp so the idea of dates in a savory dish had me excited. I decided to harness some super savory flavors with lamb and kale in a bread pudding and accent it with sweet little studs of date. MMM - then add some salty gruyere cheese, some sharp, creamy chevre. Finally an herbal touch of marjoram which keeps things in the savory realm. —meganvt01
- 1 small loaf rustic bread (about 6 cups chopped) - I used a whole wheat sourdough - with a nice chewy texture.
- 1/2 pound lamb mergez sausage, removed from casing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large leek, cleaned and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch dino kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 8 large dates, seeds removed, small chop
- 3/4 cup gruyere, grated
- 1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 cups milk
- 4 extra large eggs
- 1 tablespoon marjoram, minced
- Cut the bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Leave the crust on for more texture. In a 300 degree oven toast for 10-15 mins to dry it out slightly.
- In a large skillet cook the mergez over medium heat until brown. Remove sausage. Add the olive oil and leeks and cook until softened, above 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the kale and stir to mix. Pour in the wine, cover the skillet and let cook until kale is tender - about 5 minutes. Remove the cover and let the wine reduce until the mixture is more dry - about 5 minutes. Add the dates, marjoram, and the cooked sausage and season the entire mixture with salt and pepper. Cool.
- In a large bowl, combine the sausage/date mixture and the cheeses. Pour into a buttered baking dish.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and eggs. Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Pour the mixture over the bread.
- Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes until set and browned on top. IF it browns too quickly, lightly cover with foil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Dates