Even if you and I barely noticed, a month or more ago our chicken friends observed the days getting longer and began to lay eggs after taking their winter vacation roughly from November into January. Bless them. What a compensation some brilliant golden yolks are for gray and cold days.
I am so old that I can remember all the gyrations around the wholesomeness of eggs which were pronounced bad for you long enough for the food industry to gin up make-believe eggs to which, I suppose, some people still adhere out of habit. More recently, eggs’ reputation has been refurbished and I now see eggs dropped on plates of food all over the place, at every meal. Heart warming.
So long story short, right now I can use eggs plentifully anytime, because the girls are laying generously. Egg casserole might sound like Sunday brunch dish, the kind with sausage, bacon, and cheese, but all those eggs are also a good vehicle for various vegetables, too, holding them together as a frittata does. Besides, a casserole is sturdier than quiche and spares you making a pie crust. You can see what is coming: leftover cooked vegetables? Scrap of cheese? A morsel of ham? A link of sausage? Into the casserole. Nothing says you can’t start with fresh onions, celery, garlic, and add in, as I decided to do, some canned artichoke hearts, a few strips of roasted pepper, and a few chopped Kalamata olives. Though you don’t need to use meat, Italian sausage with fennel and a few red pepper flakes, if you like them, makes the casserole that much more substantial..
A salad on the side and crusty bread, or not, and it is a wholesome supper in hardly any time.
Looking for…Mustard pickles. Denise Rose plans on making mustard pickles while she is up to camp on Bottle Lake this summer and wonders if I or anyone has a good recipe to share. Actually, I don’t, never made any yet, oddly enough. But I bet one of you has. If you are so inclined, please send it along.
- ½ pound plain or Italian sausage, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped
- ¼ cup roasted red pepper strips
- ¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese or grated parmesan
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly oil a nine-by-thirteen-inch baking dish
- Heat a sauté pan and brown the sausage.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft, about five minutes.
- Add the artichokes, peppers, olives and just warm them through. Remove from the heat.
- Sprinkle in the fennel and red pepper flakes.
- Whisk the eggs thoroughly, then whisk in the milk, salt, and black pepper.
- Add the cheddar or parmesan to the egg mixture, then add the cooked sausage and vegetables.
- Pour into the baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and the top is lightly golden brown.