BY PAMELA FOSTER
This is a great dish to make for brunch since it needs to be prepared ahead of time. Do most of the work the night before and bake the morning before serving. I typically serve with a spicy Tomato Sauce or with a Brown Sauce.
-- 1 loaf quality whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
-- 2 cups skim milk
-- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-- 2 tbsp. of your favorite fresh herbs, minced (basil, oregano, parsley)
-- 1 lb. cooked ham, cut into cubes
-- 1 bunch green leafy vegetable: kale, spinach, torn into large pieces
-- EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
-- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
-- 1 ¾ cups cheese, grated (cheddar, swiss)
1. Mix together eggs, milk and spices. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat, then add your green leafy vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside. Next, fry the mushrooms until lightly browned. Add to the other vegetables and add the herbs, and ham.
3. Grease a large casserole dish (9 x 12 inch) and layer half the bread, then half the spinach, half ham/vegetables, and half the cheese. Repeat with the remaining mixture, ending with the cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the top.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, minimum. This allows the egg and milk to be fully absorbed into the bread.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Remove from your fridge half an hour before baking. Discard the plastic wrap and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until top is golden brown and slightly crisp.
Pamela Foster is a culinary historian who resides in the Greater Toronto Area with her husband, affectionately referred to as Lord D. Her popular blog Downton Abbey Cooks explores food, history and health of the Downton era (1912- 1920s). And be sure to check out Pamela's Weekly Downton Dish column on VisionTV.
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