When you've got a house full of guests, making breakfast or brunch can be daunting. This Strata is easy to prep, in fact it must rest overnight before baking so it leaves you free to mix Mimosas or enjoy a leisurely cuppa while it bakes. It's also one of the recipes that's handy for eating down the fridge. Since Thanksgivikkuh is very soon upon us, we all have major shopping to do and food prep ahead. That means we need room in the fridge and freezer. For many of us, it also means house guests, perhaps a day of people arriving at different times with everyone on different schedules.
Strata, all prepped the night before, is ready to pop in the oven once guests arrive. Just have snacks on hand (Spiced Nuts, cheese board, fruit) and when you're close to a full house -- in it goes.
Savory Fall Strata
This strata is vegetarian, dairy-free, and flexible. It can be varied according to what you need to use up, just pick things that complement each other. You could add cheese but it doesn't really need it. I sprinkle my own DIY dairy-free parmesan on top, true Parmigiano-Reggiano would be great. Depending on how you want to layer it (hence the name "strata") you can build it as you would a lasagna, or you can simply mix all the veg and bread cubes together, toss in a buttered pan then pour on the custard mixture.
- 2 C thinly sliced leeks
- 2 C thinly sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 large roasted red bell peppers, sliced
- 4 C julienned greens (I had spinach and large brussels sprout leaves)
- 1/2 C minced celery
- 1/4 C vermouth, wine, stock or water to deglaze
- 9 C cubed bread
- 1 1/2 tsp Thanksgiving spice blend (alt use 1 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp sage)
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 C soy milk
- 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
- Parmesan or Parmigiano Reggiano
- Slice leeks, mushrooms, spinach/greens.
- Mince celery, garlic
- Cube bread, enough to fill the pan you are using. Place in very large mixing bowl.
- Add a couple glugs of olive oil to a large pan, sauté mushrooms and leeks until they're wilted, add celery, garlic, and greens. Sauté and just as things are beginning to brown, deglaze with some wine, dry vermouth, stock or water.
- Add veg, spice, S&P to bread cubes toss.
- In a large mixing cup or small bowl, break eggs and mix lightly with milk. Add grated nutmeg.
- Place bread veg mix in buttered 13 x 9 pan and cover with egg-milk mix.
- Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- The next day, remove from fridge 30 minutes before you're baking. Preheat oven to 350.
- Sprinkle Parmesan and Pimenton or Paprika, bake for 45-50 minutes - knife inserted in center should come out clean.
- Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serves 4 -8 depending on if you're serving as main or side.
Check out Brian Samuels' gorgeous Kale and Shiitake Mushroom Bread Pudding. A rich version laced with cream and cheese.