I have posted a strata or two since this blog’s beginning. And yes, I’m posting another. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the basic strata recipe is a very adaptable dish. Using the the same bread to egg mixture ratio, you can include whatever your heart desires to add flavor and texture. An all veggie strata is one of my favorites. Carnivores in the house? All you have to do is serve a little bacon or sausage on the side.
What vegetables to use? Whatever you like! This particular strata boasted eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms and onions. About 6 cups of veggies in all. And the bread? I used English muffins here, my favorite for a strata. I’ve also successfully used French bread, ciabatta, sour dough….
Of course, there is cheese. What do you like? My favorite with the veggies is Gruyere. This particular day I used Swedish fontina. Practically any cheese can be used. My only “rule” is that it’s not the pre-shredded, packaged variety. It just doesn’t melt as well, something to do with the starch [potato?] the shreds are coated with to prevent sticking in the package. So buy a chunk of your favorite cheese and shred away!
The best thing about a strata is the “make-ahead” preparation it embraces. It’s a huge time saver for a special breakfast or brunch. Mother’s Day is just around the corner [at least here, in the US] and not far behind is Father’s Day. Then there’s the first communions, graduations, showers, etc. It seems as if every weekend this time of year has a “specialness” to it that demands special food. A fruit salad [a very berry fruit salad, here] and fried potatoes or hashbrowns make a complete meal for us. What will you serve with yours? The photos below, show the progression of the strata assembly.
Very Veggie Strata
The time of 1 hr is for baking only. Prep time is 15-30 minutes and there is a chill time of 3-24 hours needed as well.
For the strata:
6 English muffins, torn in bite size pieces
6 cups vegetables, diced and chopped in uniform sizes
1-2 Tablespoon cooking oil
salt and pepper
1½ cup shredded cheese, or to taste
For the egg/milk custard:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 cups milk
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables; salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are almost cooked through. Add more oil as necessary, especially if you’re using eggplant [it’s an oil hog]. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Spritz a baking dish [9×13] with cooking spray. Spread half of the torn English muffin pieces. Top with the cooled cooked vegetables, and the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining muffin pieces.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and Greek yogurt. Stir in the milk, mustard and pepper. Whisk well, then pour over the layers in the baking dish; cover evenly. Gently squish the ingredients down slightly so the top muffin pieces are in the custard mixture. Cover; refrigerate 3-24 hours.
Remove dish from refrigerator 30-60 minutes before baking. Heat oven to 325°F.
Bake approximately 1 hour, or until instant read thermometer registers 170°F. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.