By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Mediterranean Strata

If you’ve ever spent the wee hours flipping channels, you surely came across an infomercial or two promising weight loss or beautiful skin overnight. While the allure of going to sleep and waking up thin or "more radiant" sounds good at 2 a.m., in truth, not much will happen except a charge being placed on your credit card bill.

Not so with my recipe for Mediterranean Strata. I can truly promise that if you put this delicious egg, sausage and bread casserole together before heading off to bed, you will, in fact, wake up to something good in the morning.

Sundried tomatoes, fresh thyme and Italian sausage bring the flavors of the Mediterranean to this delicious casserole that can be served for brunch with a big fruit salad, or with a Caesar salad at lunch or dinner.

  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, not oil packed
  • 12 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 3 1/2 cups 1% milk
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 ounces French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled, optional
Reconstitute tomatoes in microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, covered in water, for 3 minutes. Set aside to soften, then drain well and chop.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook, stirring, until done. Drain well.

Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine milk, eggs, thyme, onion salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, sausage, bread cubes and Parmesan cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella and goat or feta cheese, if desired, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool on a rack 5 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Makes 10 servings.