This casserole featuring eggs, cheese, ham, and fennel would also make a perfect breakfast for a special day.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spread half of the bread cubes in the dish. If desired, snip some of the green feathery tops from the fennel bulb and reserve for a garnish. Trim, core, and chop fennel bulb to make 1 cup. Sprinkle fennel evenly over bread in dish. Top with ham, apple, cheese, and 1/2 cup green onions. Top with remaining bread.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and pepper. Drizzle evenly over bread mixture in dish. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon so all the bread is moistened
Bake, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes. Edges will be set and the center will appear runny. Let stand 10 minutes before serving to let center become set. If desired, sprinkle top with reserved fennel fronds and/or additional sliced green onions.
Tip: To dry bread, let bread stand at room temperature for 6 hours. Or, bake bread in a 300-degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until dry.
2 lean protein, 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat