This Roasted Broccoli Red Bell Pepper Pancetta Breakfast Casserole is perfect for a crowd at brunch.
This past weekend, our church had a farewell party for our Associate Pastor where everyone brought something. I’ve always loved the idea of potluck meals where everyone makes something different and you end up with a smorgasbord. That’s something I truly appreciate about our church – the feeling of community. It almost sounds a bit old fashioned in this day and age of high tech where community means social networks like Facebook. Although social networks are a great way to connect with people you don’t see everyday or may have never met, it can never replace the intimacy of real life gatherings.
This Roasted Broccoli Red Bell Pepper Pancetta Breakfast Casserole was my contribution, inspired by a recipe card Sartori enclosed with a sampling of cheeses they sent recently. I loved the idea of roasting the broccoli first for a little smoky, caramelized flavor. Crispy pancetta adds some meaty flavors (perfect for the meat-lovers in this crowd). Flecks of red bell pepper add a boost of color and a little extra nutrition.
Although there’s the extra step of roasting the broccoli first, it’s not that big a deal since the oven has to be turned on anyway to bake the casserole.
Crispy bits of pancetta, bright red bell peppers, a creamy/fruity/tangy cheese, and bright scallions combine to make a special breakfast casserole. My son kept sneaking bits of crispy pancetta and cheese while I was taking pictures.
Once you’ve prepped the ingredients, simply toss them together and transfer to a casserole dish, pour the eggs on top and bake. Use your favorite herb blend for flavoring – I used Fines Herbes, one of our favorite herb blends.
Bake for 35 minutes, and voilà you’ll have a breakfast casserole that’s elegant enough to serve for company. I made this a day ahead and reheated it the next morning.
For our party, I cut this casserole into 36 bite-size pieces since it was part of a large buffet. If you’re serving this for a smaller crowd, it will serve 10-12 people. All you need is a fruit salad and greens salad to go along for a light, easy brunch.
- 1 head broccoli, florets only, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces antibiotic-free pancetta, chopped
- 1 wedge (7 ounces) Sartori MontAmore cheese or your favorite semi-hard cheese, crumbled
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 12 eggs
- 2 teaspoons fines herbes or your favorite herb blend
- ½ fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; transfer to a baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes until browned; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
- Saute pancetta in large skillet until crisp; use slotted spoon to remove to paper-towel lined plate.
- Gently toss roasted broccoli, crisp pancetta, crumbled cheese, red bell pepper, and scallions in a large bowl. Transfer to lightly oiled 9"x13" baking dish.
- Lightly beat eggs in large bowl with fines herbes, black pepper and salt Pour over broccoli mixture.
- Bake 35 minutes at 375 degrees or until lightly browned and eggs are cooked through.