Valley Fig Growers

Brunch Strata with California Figs, Sausage, and Sage

Enjoy this savory-sweet strata for Easter brunch, Christmas morning, or any time you’re serving a crowd and want a dish that’s both satisfying and special. To make it your own, try it with different kinds of sausage or cheese. On the side, serve an arugula salad, coffee, and mimosas.

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 ounces cooked chicken apple sausage, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices

12 ounces crusty Italian or French bread, with crusts, cut or torn into 3/4-inch pieces (about 12 cups)

2 cups quartered (halved if small) Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs, stems removed

4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

7 large eggs

3 cups milk

3/4 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  2. Spray a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 1/3 of the bread in the dish. Top with 1/3 of the sausage, 1/3 of the figs, 1/3 of the cheese, and 1/3 of the sage. Repeat 2 times, making 3 layers. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the milk and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole and set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes or covered in the refrigerator for as long as overnight. (If refrigerated, return the casserole to room temperature before proceeding.)
  4. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Cover the casserole loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the pecans on top, and continue baking until browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out only a little wet, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Let the strata stand 10 minutes. Serve warm, with maple syrup, if using, alongside.

Recipe and photo Jill Silverman Hough