Artichokes for breakfast? Well, why not, especially if you’re on vacation and the B&B hosts are cooking? But if it still seems a little strange, try pairing this lemony dish with a green salad for a meatless but filling supper. The artichokes and lemon aren’t the whole story — milk, eggs, and your favorite bread and cheese round out the dish. C.W. Worth House Bed & Breakfast in Wilmington, North Carolina, is the source for this distinctive recipe; if you book a stay there, just look for the two turrets when you arrive in town. Or stay home and try this recipe yourself.
2 cups milk
¾ t. dry mustard
½ t. salt
1 t. ground thyme (can use any herbs you like)
Zest of one lemon
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained, squeezed and chopped
2 cups cheese — pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar, or any combination, divided
1 loaf French bread (or 16 – ½ inch slices hearty bread, cubed)
Whisk the eggs; add milk, dry mustard and salt. Set aside.
In another large bowl place bread cubes and pour egg mixture over and gently mix to blend and let soak, mixing occasionally. Do this for 5 or 10 minutes until mixture has absorbed the egg/milk custard.
Layer one half of the bread mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish which has been sprayed with PAM. Then layer the chopped artichokes, lemon zest and thyme over that. Add one cup of the cheese over the artichokes and lemon zest. Then finish with another layer of the rest of the soaked bread cubes. Top with the second cup of cheese. Cover with tin foil which has been sprayed with PAM so it won’t stick to the cheese on top.
Bake covered at 325 degrees for 50 minutes, turning half way through. It will be puffed up. Remove the tin foil and let brown for 5 minutes. Serves 8.