Friday recipe: spring brunch time

Ahh - is it finally spring?
Ahh – is it finally spring?

After this winter of hibernating from the cold, this week’s above-50-degree temperatures – gasp! – have me celebrating the emergence of my spouse’s spinach and radishes in our garden as well as inspecting our flower beds for lilies of the valley, hyacinths and tulips. Since I’m probably getting ahead of myself on that, I may take the suggestion of my pals at ProFlowers to purchase a bouquet of daffodils and plan a brunch. Their handy “Spring Brunch Checklist” has me inspired with its tips and linked recipes.

Given the season (you know, when the store shelves are overpopulated by Peeps), this weekend would be a good time to get cracking – some eggs, that is. Here’s an easy breakfast/brunch casserole from the American Egg Board’s “Incredible Egg” website. I adjusted it by adding a can of drained diced tomatoes, some chopped jalapeƱo and minced garlic cloves. I imagine you could toss in some sliced mushrooms and pretty much any chopped veggies you like, such as green and red peppers. You also can substitute bacon, sausage or a vegetarian sausage for the ham. Sliced avocado served on the side would be pretty dandy, too.

The casserole can be prepared the day before and then warmed gently in the microwave when you’re ready to serve it. The dish makes great leftovers.

Ham and egg casserole (serves 12)

Photo: Incredible Egg website
Photo: Incredible Egg website
  • 12 eggs
  • 15-ounce carton ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 cups chopped cooked ham
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs in a medium bowl until blended. Add ricotta or cottage cheese, flour, baking powder, Italian cheese, ham and green onions. Pour in a greased 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Bake until puffed and golden and when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.

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