Budín de Berenjena (Savory Eggplant Bread Pudding)

One of the most valuable treasures in our kitchen is a first edition of Carmen Aboy Valldejúli’s Cocina Criolla. It doesn’t have a single illustration and the pages have been bound together a few times, but the quality of its content surpasses most of the modern cookbooks and expensive magazines on our shelves.

I find Cocina Criolla’s index very intriguing. There are so many recipes I don’t recognize as part of the Puerto Rican culinary tradition, classic dishes that my grandma would prepare decades ago, but are mostly forgotten. I see the potential for reinvention.

Recipes with vegetables, as it's to be expected, are some of our favorite. As I carefully read each of the instructions, I can’t help to think about grandma Isabel and how she instilled in me the importance of celebrating each ingredient to elevate their humble properties.

The best example is the Eggplant Bread Pudding or Budín de Berenjena on page 206. So simple and perfect for Thanksgiving and the holidays. Valldejúli prepares the eggplant with a cooking technique that I’ve never considered, but simplifies the cooking process incredibly.

The result is simply divine. The bread pudding tastes similar to a French quiche, infused with the island flavors that we know and love. The following recipe is a slightly modified version of that. We hope you enjoy it.

Savory Eggplant Bread Pudding


  • 2 Large eggplants
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 Tsp of butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Garlic clove, mashed
  • 1 Tsp of fresh or dried rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/3 Cup of cornstarch
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 Cup of milk
  • 1/2 Cup of day old bread
  • 3 Tsp of crushed saltines
Takes , serves 4-6.


  1. First, boil the eggplant with the skin for about 25 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Once boiled, remove the skin carefully under running water. Squeeze out the water and mash it with a fork.
  2. Next, add three teaspoons of butter, the eggs, garlic, rosemary, cornstarch, bread, baking powder, milk and another pinch of salt. Mix well and place the mix on a greased mold. (Use the leftover butter to grease the mold.)
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the saltines over the mixture and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. If you prepare individual portions, the bread pudding will take about 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure the pudding feels firm, but still moist. Once ready, let it rest. Place on a serving platter with rosemary leaves.

For the Spanish Version of this post, click here.

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