Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baked Egg Casserole

We eat eggs for dinner when I can't come up with anything else to prepare.  Sometimes, nothing else sounds as good as an egg dish.  I default to omelets, but this is a slightly different way to prepare eggs that is easy, tasty, and can be served in easy portions.  This would make a perfect item on a brunch menu.

I like to use whatever I have available in the refrigerator and pantry, so no two are the same.

In today's casserole I used:
6 eggs
approximately 2/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup goat cheese spread
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped Japanese eggplant
1/2 cup sliced yellow squash
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed, then chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of Herbs de Provence (or, a bit of oregano, thyme, and a pinch of culinary lavender, if you have it)
1/4 cup toasted, lightly salted shaved coconut*

Preheat oven to 325'F.
Place 2 Tablespoons olive oil in saute pan.
Add onions, eggplant, squash, and saute until transparent.  Add tomatoes and cook until moisture evaporates.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Mix eggs in a medium bowl.  Add part of the cheese (in this case, the goat cheese spread and part of the shredded cheese, reserving at least half for the top of the dish).

Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, fold it into the egg mixture.  Pour it into a 9-inch glass baking dish that has been sprayed with a release agent.  Sprinkle remaining shredded cheese over surface, finish with the coconut pieces.

Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes.  Watch carefully toward the end.  The edges will rise during baking.  Remove with the center is no longer "giggly".  It will continue to cook after removal from the oven.

Leftovers may be refrigerated and reheated.  It is very tasty the second time around!
toasted coconut, lightly salted

*Although we think of coconut as a sweet item, it is actually quite delicious when used as a savory snack or added to a dish.  Coconut is very high in fiber, and therefore a healthy addition to this low-carb dish.

Addendum:  This dish is even more delicious on Day 2.  I reheated a portion for lunch and noticed that the coconut had a more notable presence in both taste and texture.  It added a rich quality to the taste that, unless you knew it was coconut, you would wonder what it is.  Yummy!
The consistency is tender.  No one will miss a crust!

Serves 4-6

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