Easter Sunday always calls for a fancy celebration. This springtime holiday is an affair best enjoyed in the daytime with Easter egg hunts for the kids, followed by a festive brunch among family and friends. On the menu you’ll most likely find classic breakfast favorites such as Pixie Tangerine Crepes, Carrot and Pineapple Cake or Asparagus and Artichoke Quiches. Anything that can feed a crowd without taking up too much time in the kitchen is optimal for putting together a fabulous mid-morning feast. We can’t resist a scrumptious casserole for a buffet-style meal and this Easter-inspired Casserole has the wonderful flavors of the perfect brunch. Think of it as a savory breakfast bread pudding, filled with sausage, cheese, eggs and all that good stuff. However, the secret is in the ramps, which is exactly what springtime eating tastes like. Make this dish ahead of time, preferably the night before and simply pop into the oven during your Easter egg hunt. For other amazing Easter-worthy recipes, check out our menu.
So let’s talk about ramps. Although similar in appearance, they’re neither leeks nor scallions. Ramps are a wild vegetable with a pungent, woodsy aroma and a strong onion and garlic flavor. Most of its great flavor lies in the white bulb but the greens are also quite tasty as well. These vegetables have a very short seasonality and are limited in quantity, making them one of the most highly coveted items of the season among chefs and foodies. Much buzz has surrounded ramps over the past few decades and for good reason too. If you can get your hands on them, don’t hesitate to get creative with these springtime treasures. They pair especially well with all sorts of recipes such as a Ramp, Heirloom Tomato and Cream Cheese Frittata, Scalloped Gemstone Potatoes with Caramelized Ramps, Ramp Pesto Crostini and more.
Easter Brunch Casserole
Yields: 6-8 servings
- 1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 8 oz of pork or turkey sausage, crumbled
- 2 ramps, chopped (If ramps are unavailable, substitute with leeks or scallions)
- 6 large eggs and 6 large egg whites
- 1 and 3/4 cups of whole milk
- 2 cups of Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Fresh basil or chives, chopped
- Cooking spray
1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat for around 10 minutes until browned. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper.
3. Combine the egg mixture with the sausage, ramps, 1 and 1/4 cup of cheese and bread. Toss together, making sure all the ingredients are well mixed together.
4. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
5. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the covering and add the rest of the cheddar cheese to the top of the casserole.
6. Bake the casserole for around 30 to 35 minutes until the top has lightly browned.