Artichoke, Sausage and Goat Cheese Strata

I went on a girl's retreat last weekend and my friend Wendy made this for breakfast. It was divine. I can't wait to make it for my book club in a few weeks.  Tip:  Don't forget to drizzle the olive oil over the surface.  I forgot that when I made it, and it wasn't as tasty.

1 loaf sour dough or french bread
1 tube Jimmy Deans pork sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 or 2 (6 oz. jars) marinated artichoke hearts, drained (reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
3/4 pound goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 large eggs
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil or butter a deep 9 to 10 inch baking dish.

Slice the break into 1 inch cubes. Transfer the bread to a baking sheet and toast for about 20 minutes stirring once or twice, until golden brown and lightly crisp.

Slice the artichoke hearts about 1/3 inch thick. Mix them with the thyme and garlic in a small bowl.

Arrange the bread, sausage,,cheese and and artichoke hearts in the baking dish.

Whisk the eggs with the half & half, slat, pepper and reserved artichoke marinade. Pour the custard over the bread mixture. Drizzle the olive oil over the surface. Cover and refrigerate the strata for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

Remove the strata from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before you bake it. This helps it to bake evenly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata for 50 to 55 minutes until puffed, golden brown, and lightly set in the center.

Serve hot.

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