Fresh early spring ramps add color, flavor, and texture to this great tasting breakfast casserole. The casserole is very easy to prepare, and it bakes in just 40 to 45 minutes.
I used breakfast sausage in the casserole, but it could just as easily be made with cooked diced bacon or diced ham. Or make the casserole meat-free.
Ramps are only available around mid to late April, but about 3/4 cup of sliced green onions or can be substituted. Or saute thinly sliced leeks (white and light green only) until softened and add them to the casserole.
You can prepare the casserole the night before, a real convenience when you're facing a busy day or weekend. See the tips below the recipe for instructions.
- 1 pound breakfast sausage
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups thinly sliced cleaned fresh ramps, both white and green parts
- 6 large eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices bread, about 4 ounces
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, 8 ounces
- Butter a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up and stirring, until browned and no longer pink. Remove to brown paper bags or paper towels to drain, leaving just a few teaspoons of drippings in the skillet.
- Put the skillet back on the heat and add the sliced ramps. Saute, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until softened and wilted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Add the cooked ramps and whisk to blend.
- Tear the bread into small pieces and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the bread layer with the cooked and drained sausage. Sprinkle the sausage layer with the shredded cheese.
- Heat the oven to 350° F.
- Slowly pour the egg, milk, and ramps mixture evenly over the bread, sausage, and cheese. Pat down gently and let stand while the oven preheats.
- Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a clean knife inserted into the center of the casserole comes out clean.
- This casserole can be prepared in advance. Just cover the baking dish and refrigerate overnight. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you plan to bake, about 1 hour and 20 to 1 hour and 30 minutes before you plan to serve.
- Add some diced tomatoes or top it with thinly sliced tomatoes just before baking.
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