I have to be honest, for a long time I wasn’t exactly sure what a ‘strata’ was. I’ve heard about it, read recipes for it, but just never delved in to find out what it was or actually try to make it, for that matter. What a mistake that was! Simply put, it’s a breakfast pie.
This vegetable strata was delicious. But the best part is….you make make the entire dish ahead of time, like the day before, then just pop it into the oven in the morning. How easy is that?! I must admit I was quite proud of myself as I pulled this baby out of the oven, it looks gorgeous! You will look like a superstar serving it.
It’s substantial and satisfying, hearty and savory. It’s somewhat healthy, filled with veggies. I decided to try a recipe from Ellie Krieger as my first foray into strata-land. I didn’t want to clog every artery I have and push my cholesterol level off the charts. I felt this version was a nice balance. This would also be delicious with an addition of bacon or sausage, I might try that version next.
Here’s what you will need to serve 4 people….
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 whole wheat baguette, crusts removed, cubed (about 2 cups)
4 eggs plus 4 additional egg whites
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 medium head of broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1/2 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
7.5 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and allow to cool. Heat remaining teaspoon of oil in the skillet and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their water, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in a single layer in the bottom of the dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, milk and mustard until incorporated. Add mushrooms, onion-garlic mixture, broccoli, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Pour mixture over bread, making sure liquid saturates bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from strata and bake for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the top forms a light brown crust.
Original recipe can be found here…