I’ve been sitting on this recipe since February.
Mostly because I haven’t had the time or really the inclination to sit down and type it up. Recipes aren’t my favorite posts to pen because they can come across as disingenuous. There’s only so many different ways you can sing the praises of food without starting to get a bit redundant.
Insert yummy, tasty, ooey-gooey good, decadent, drool-worthy, savory, satisfying plus whatever other buzzword you think will sell this strata.
Also, these pictures don’t do this dish justice, but if I wait until I rephotograph it, I’ll put it off for another three months, so we’re rolling with the proverbial punches today and serving up strata as is.
Now don’t be fooled by my initial negativity and general tomfoolery. This dish is perfectly palatable and incredibly easy to make, both of which are high on the rungs of my edible priority list, at least when I’m the one doing the cooking. Presentation is up there too, but some days, like this one, it just doesn’t make it to the party.
With my disclaimer out of the way, let’s get down to business.
For anyone not in the know, strata is a layered breakfast casserole packed with bread, eggs, milk, seasonings and whatever else you want to stuff it with. Me, I like veggies, but if meat’s your thing, I say go for it. It’s like the fluffier and more filling cousin of quiche, without that pesky pie crust to slow you down. Plus, it’s made in a casserole dish so there’s room for extra cheese.
It’s fantastic for entertaining since the dirty work, also known as manual labor, has to be done a day ahead of time. This way when your company shows up, all you gotta do is put this bad boy in the oven and wait for the intoxicating aroma to fill your kitchen. Might I suggest a mimosa while you wait?
Oh and did I mention it’s a phenomenal way to use up leftovers? The carbalicious kind. I’m talking day old bread, sautéed veggies, leftover bacon, although let’s be real, no one has leftover bacon. Not even me, and I rarely eat the stuff.
In this recipe, I’m using asparagus and Asiago cheese. Feel free to use whatever veggies and cheese you’ve got on hand though: carrots, broccoli, spinach, cheddar, mozzarella, or any combination thereof. I’ve certainly made strata a multitude of ways, and I’ve never been disappointed so I say go wild, get crazy, and get yo’ strata on.
Man, that last line was cheesy; palm to face. Now you know why I’ve been putting off writing this post. My bad.
- 3 1/2 cups good quality savory Bread, cubed (approximately four slices or enough to loosely cover the bottom of your casserole dish)
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup Bell Pepper, chopped
- 2 1/2 cups Asparagus chopped or a combination of whatever veggies you have on hand (broccoli, carrots, Swiss chard, spinach to name just a few)
- 1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese, shredded
- 2 cups Milk of choice (I use Unsweetened Almond Milk)
- 10 large Eggs
- 1 tsp. Dried Mustard
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 3 Tbsp. Dried Chives
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 2.5 quart casserole dish. I use butter, but you can use your greasing agent of choice. Loosely cover the bottom of the dish with the bread cubes.
- *In a medium skillet over high heat, add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced onions and let cook for a couple of minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook an additional thirty seconds. Add bell pepper and asparagus (or veggie(s) of choice). Add a crank of salt and pepper (approximately 1/8 tsp. of each) and let cook an additional few minutes until veggies are more tender.
- Pour sauteed veggie mixture over the cubed bread. Top the veggies with the shredded cheese.
- While veggies are cooking, mix together the eggs, milk and all seasonings. Pour this mixture over the bread, veggies and cheese. Put your casserole dish in the fridge and let it soak for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
- When you're ready to bake the strata, set the oven to 400 degrees. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 20 minutes until the eggs have fully set and the top is golden brown. Serve warm.
- *If you have leftover sauteed veggies from something else, feel free to use them instead. I love having extra sauteed veggies on hand. In addition to strata, I often use them on pizza, in omelets or for stuffing baked potatoes.
What’s your favorite strata combination? Do you like entertaining? Brunch is one of my favorite meals to host, partially because the mimosas and it’s a great excuse to make potatoes.