Leek, Egg and Cheese Torta

A quick, make-ahead dish that is always a huge hit. Substitute vegetables such as mushrooms, onions or spinach for the leeks, if desired. Use white bread if you want the bread to disappear or whole wheat for more flavour. Make up to one day ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. Let stand at room temperature for an hour before baking.

Serves 8

2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
6 leeks, white part only, sliced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 slices thinly sliced bread, crusts removed
1 cup (250 mL) grated Cheddar cheese
8 oz (250 g) Brie, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) hot pepper sauce
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups (750 mL) half and half or whipping cream


Heat oil in skillet on medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Butter a 9 x 13-inch (3 L) baking dish. Layer half of bread slices. Top with half of leeks and half of Cheddar and Brie. Make a second layer of bread, leeks and cheeses.
Whisk together mustard, hot pepper sauce, eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over bread layers. Let sit covered for 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake for 40 minutes or until puffed and set. Cool slightly and serve from baking dish.