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Locavore Recipe: All-Purpose Casserole

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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Photo by Judith Hausman

This all-purpose casserole will make delicious use of your extra crops.

Originally intended to make use of a bumper crop of summer squash, this easy dish works for nearly any abundance you receive. The squash version uses about 2 cups-plus of raw, grated summer squash but for this one, I began with mixed, chopped greens that I had cooked quickly with a little bit of onion and garlic. Some green pepper or a small hot pepper might be nice in it as well.

In addition, while the original I’ll share here uses feta cheese, you can essentially use up whatever cheeses you have around: cheddar, jack or Swiss, for example. The same goes for the fresh herbs and the style of bread you include. I used slices from a rough, whole-grain loaf that was getting a little too dry for breakfast toast.

As a kind of savory bread pudding, this casserole is great for brunch or breakfast and can be prepared in advance. In another variation, to make a substantial side dish, you can leave out the bread and milk altogether — a centerpiece dish for lunch or a dinner entrée for the vegetarians in the crowd. It’s also quite portable.

All-Purpose Casserole: Greens, Feta, Bread version

Serves 4-8, depending

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups cooked chopped greens, such as Swiss chard, beet greens or broccoli rabe
  • 1 cup any cottage cheese
  • 4 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, chopped
  • 4-6 slices of bread, such as baguette or whole-grain, cubed
  • 3/4 cup milk

Preparation

Grease a 9x9-inch baking dish, or equivalent. Spread the bread cubes in it and pour the milk over the bread. Let soak for 10 minutes or so. You can add a little more milk if the bread is very dry. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, herbs and cheeses, seasoning to taste. Gently fold the cooked greens into the softened bread. Then pour the cheese mix over it all, folding carefully.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 10.

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About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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