Dedicated readers of this blog know that I love brunch, and I will never tire of new egg recipes to serve said purpose. This one has so many great features--it's got loads of eggs, is a great way to use leftover stale bread, and you can put it together the night before (actually, you should), then just pull it out of the refrigerator and pop it straight into the oven in the morning...or afternoon. The final product is so much more than just egg, cheese, and bread--it melds together into a surprisingly creamy, custardy kind of pudding with varied chunks of vegetables.
As with many of my favorite recipes,this is easy to put together and you can make many substitutions--use whatever cheese, bread, or vegetables you like. Throw in some meat if you want (maybe cook it first, or use leftovers). This is not a delicate operation, so experiment to your heart's content.
Heavenly Egg Casserole
5 cups bread, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups vegetables of your choice, chopped into bite-sized pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots...)
1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cups milk
1 cup grated cheese(s)
1 tablespoon dried oregano (or whatever mixture of herbs you like)
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
The day before building: spread out the cut-up baguette to dry and get stale on a cutting board. Or, dry it out on a low temperature (try 250 F for 20 minutes) in the oven.
The night before eating: Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the vegetables, if they are raw, until they begin to soften. Turn off heat and stir in garlic and salt to taste.
In a large whisk together, combine the eggs, milk, mustard, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and more black pepper to taste. Stir in cooled vegetables and cheese.
Grease a 9 X 13 inch dish and lay the stale bread cubes in the bottom. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. When ready to cook, uncover and bake in the oven at 350 F for 75 minutes or until lightly browned on top.