The Quintessential Strata

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“One learns, necessarily, to be gentle when acquiring omelet skills: a certain measure of sensitivity is needed…I have long believed it is only right and appropriate that before one sleeps with someone, one should be able – if called upon to do so – to make them a proper omelet in the morning. Surely that kind of civility and selflessness would be both good manners and good for the world.”

– Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

 

Eggs. EGGS. Eggs are good.

Do you like eggs? Are you one of those special people who find them disgusting? YA DEAD TO ME.

Just kidding. Sort of.

Anyways, whether you see eggs as delicious and the pinnacle of all things good or as gross and a discarded chicken period (too much?), there is no denying that eggs are a pivotal part of many recipes. They act as binding agents, leavening agents and tasty agents.

In this particular case, they act as all three and also as a way to use leftover bread. It is also a nifty way to incorporate some vegetables into my carb-heavy diet.

Also, there’s cheese. Cheese is also good.

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Basic Vegetable Strata:

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves 1 (additional serving options will be addressed at the bottom of the recipe)

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of cubed-up bread (stale is preferred. If fresh, toast the bread a little bit in the oven until the exterior is golden. This will maximize egg-soaking abilities)
  • 1/2 cup of whatever vegetables you prefer. (In my strata, I used roasted cherry tomatoes and roasted brussel sprouts. Don’t judge. Bell peppers, onions, zucchini are all AWESOME options.)
  • 1/4 cup of the cheese of your choice (I used grated Parmesan)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • Salt and Pepper

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  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put your vegetables and bread in your greased, individual loaf pan (or a large ramekin).
  3. Beat your eggs and milk together. Stir in half the amount of your grated cheese, salt and pepper into your egg mixture
  4. Pour the egg mixture over your vegetables and bread in your loaf pan and press down on the mixture with a fork. You want to ensure that the bread leeches up all that eggy goodness. At this point, make yourself a cup of coffee, read the newspaper – whatever. Do anything that lets you walk away from the uncooked strata for about 5 minutes. You want to let that sucker rest and let the egg seep into every pore of the bread cubes.
  5. After 5 minutes of seeping, top your strata with the rest of the grated cheese and put your cute, little strata in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven, marvel at the melted cheese and the browned egg. Then eat. EAT.

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Optional Serving Suggestions:

I realize not everyone is insane like me and hoards miniature versions of cookery like loaf pans. If you want to make enough to share, I would follow the proportions below. That will make enough to fit in an 8 x 8 square baking dish.

  • 4 cups of cubed-up bread
  • 2 cup of whatever vegetables you prefer.
  • 1/2 cup of the cheese of your choice (I used grated Parmesan)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt and Pepper

 

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