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PointsPlus Savory Vegetable Strata Recipe

PointsPlus Savory Vegetable Strata Recipe

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the bread out on the sheet in a single layer. Coat with cooking spray and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon into a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sauté the onion until it starts to turn transparent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, about 3-4 more minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.

Place the spinach, squash, eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the onion mixture and whisk again. Pour the mixture over the toasted bread cubes and mix with a spoon to thoroughly combine.

Pour the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch nonstick pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.


Spinach & Cheese Strata

This elegant brunch strata — really a savory bread pudding with spinach, cheese, and cubes of bread baked in custard — is ideal for entertaining. You do all of the preparation the night before and then let it rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning you simply turn the oven on, place the strata in, and effortlessly wait for brunch to emerge. It’s a ‘wow’ dish so you can keep the sides simple: crispy bacon, a Strawberry & Orange Fruit Salad, and Mimosas would be perfect.


1. Start With a Buttered Baking Dish, and Fill it With Bread

Choose an oven-proof baking dish that's about the right size to feed however many people you're planning on serving. Grease it up good with some butter or oil, then fill it with bite-size pieces of bread. You can use any kind of bread: sliced sandwich bread, crusty loaf, even gluten-free bread. Loosely pack the bread into your baking dish—you don't want it to go higher than the top of the dish, though you can leave it shallower if you want to yield a thinner strata. Now measure that bread: pack it into a measuring cup and take note of the total volume. When using an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish I yielded about four cups of cubed bread. Whatever your amount is, remember it.

If you're baking the strata that day, return the bread to the baking dish. Baking it the next day? Transfer the bread to a rimmed baking sheet and slide it into a 250°F oven. Bake your bread pieces just until they're barely starting to crisp on the outside, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the size. Let cool completely before assembling.


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With all the amazing strata recipes out there, I wouldn't choose this one. It was easy enough to make (despite all the chopping) but it wasn't that tasty and the red & green bell peppers didn't make for great texture. Look for other recipes - they're out there!

If I make this again, I'll cut the Dijon down to 2 tsp. I found the mustard to be overwhelming -- shouting down all those lovely vegetable and cheese flavors.

I've made this dish many times - my go-to basic for any holiday or brunch. I eyeball all measurements except the egg/milk ratios, reduce some of the bread and cheese and add salt&pepper throughout. Easily modified - often substitute browned sausage or hot chile peppers for the mushrooms, and also once made a version with ham, leeks and swiss for Easter - and easily halved for smaller crowd.

I added a clove of minced garlic near the end of sauté and two tablespoons of dried basil that I crumbled further by hand into the vegetable mixture. That picks the flavor up some I think basil is great with eggs.

A great alternative and balance to the many meat and cheese stratas out there, and more elegant. I like to roast the peppers and just add them to the onions, avoiding the cook off liquid step. I've been making this recipe since 1991! Love it.

Good basic strata which can be altered to use whatever leftover veggies and cheese you happen to have around.

This is a terrific recipe and is "easy" in the sense that it is not difficult to make. However, do not be mislead into thinking that you can throw this together in a hurry it took me a while to do all the chopping,etc., and then more time to assemble the dish. Of course, its taste and ease on the morning of presentation makes it worthwhile.

we have this for christmas brunch and it is delicious every time. it takes closer to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

A lot of work but worth the effort. i would use fewer eggs and milk next time as mine was a little runny. Also, this served 8 huge portions so it can easily stretch to 12 servings.

I made this for a break-fast and in my delerium I mis-read the directions and missed the part where you let it sit overnight. Nevertheless, with only 4 hours of sitting, it was still pretty good. I skipped the tabasco but i think next time i won't. the bread cutting was more work than i hoped and it was a bit too rich/unhealthy for my taste, but still good.

I made this receipe for Mother's Day Brunch. It was a huge hit! I was concerned that it may be a bit bland from what others wrote, so I made some alterations. I used 6 peppers instead of 4 (red, green, yellow). I sauted the vegs on high heat for a long time..almost till they were lighly browned..I also added Mrs. Dash while they were sauting and plenty of salt to taste. I cooked the mushrooms separately because they give off to much liquid and interfer with the sauting. I added some cooked spinach well drained at the end along with the mushrooms. Be sure to taste the veg mixture to be sure it is flavorful as this is where a lot of the flavor is going to come from. Also. I made this with tortillas instead of bread. A layer of tortillas. vegs..cheese..repeat. I did make a bread version ..it was a bit too dense. Good luck!

I have made this recipe several times and each time it is a big hit. It's great to be able to assemble the dish the night before you want to serve it, leaving one less thing you have to do on the day you're entertaining. It smells absolutely wonderful, tastes delicious and looks fabulous presented in a pyrex dish inserted in a woven basket.

It was delicious. I followed the Seattle cook's recommendation and used about 1/2 t. of salt and 1/4 t. of pepper when sauteing the veggies, and about 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, and 1 t. of Tobasco in the egg mixture. I don't like mushrooms, so I substituted a finely diced jalapeno pepper and an orange pepper. I also threw in another 4oz of cheese(pepperjack). Lastly, I used whole milk so it wouldn't be too runny. It definitely feeds more than 8 people, though!

I made this for an office brunch last week and it disappeared! Everyone was very complimentary. Luckily, my boss set aside a piece for me so that I could try it. Although I prefer my strata a little spicier, this recipe as written is good food. I followed it exactly, but ran out of bread and so was a little short of the specified amount. Not something I want to eat every day--a dozen eggs and all--but very good for special occasions and a lovely brunch offering.

I've tried similar recipes and they all came out "okay" but this time it was perfect! I used salt, pepper, lawreys seasoned salt, a light shake or two of chili powder as well as 3-4 drops of tabasco. It wasn't spicy at all it just had really good flavor. I used frozen spinich, bottled roasted red peppers, 2 types of mushrooms and fresh grated parmesian, romano and chedder. It was a big hit and easy too!

A great recipe for brunch! I made this for a breakfast at my husband's work and was surprised at how many people asked for the recipe. My husband and I enjoyed it so much were planning on it for Mother's Day.

I made this dish for Easter brunch, and everyone loved it. In fact, there wasn't a bite left over! I used toscano bread (specifically A La Francaise toscano, for any Seattlites out there), and 5 T. of Dijon (instead of 3). The recipe is vague with regard to seasonings: I used about 1/2 t. of salt and 1/4 t. of pepper when sauteing the veggies, and about 1 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. pepper, and 1 t. of Tobasco in the egg mixture. I substituted a bag of baby spinach and 6 tomatoes (with seeds removed)for the peppers and 1 shallot for the cup of scallions. After sauteing the vegetables, I drained the juice before layering them in the strata. It really was delicious.

I just made this for Easter brunch and it was a hit. It is soo easy to make and it tasted wonderful. Would defintely make this again.

U+I made this for a brunch for 20 people. Iɽ doubled the amount fearing Iɽ not have enough and one recipe would have been plenty since I was offering several other dishes. From a double recipe I got four 8" square pans, as I said, half that would have been plenty. It is important to saute all the vegetables in my opinion to get rid of all that excess water. I sauteed the vegs the day before, and still saw a lot of liquid collected in the bottom of the bowl when I went to assemble the strata the next day. I discarded that liquid. Everything in the recipe worked out great Because I was running out of room in the pans I used 2 cups of grated Cheddar,the recommended one cup of Parmesan, and I used 3 cups of milk rather than 3 1/2 cups. I baked it the day after I assembled it. It baked up cheesy, firm, but not too firm, not dry, and not rubbery. Easy to self-serve. People raved about it, and asked for the recipe. Great brunch dish.

Tastes and smells delicious, also holds up well. I used a combo of swiss/cheddar and omitted the scallions. Sliced neatly and also froze/reheated well. I used sliced challah - wonderful.

Excellent option to the egg & sausage casserole. I baked the casserole for a Kosher brunch, and it disappeared. Used less cheese than recipe called for, since I ran out of room in a standard 9X13 pan.

This is a versatile dish, especially for vegetarians.

Once again I made this strata for my New Year's Brunch of 23 people. I did not find this dish time consuming at all. Quite easy, and I doubled this recipe without any problems. However, I did make some changes that I feel improved the recipe. I leave out the mustard, (I also left out the tabasco sauce, but Last year I put it in and really did not notice a difference, plus I am not sure how pleasent a taste it would be in this dish)I also leave out the mushrooms only because I like to carmalize the peppers and onions for added flavor and the moisture from the mushrooms would make that difficult (I add a small pinch of sugar to help the carmalization process). However, I could have used the mushrooms and just cooked it seperatly from the peppers and onions and then layered it with them later. Used a high quality extra sharp cheddar cheese finely shredded and baked until the top was crispy and browned. Used a 1/2 pan, deep disposable steamtable pan, but feel that I would make it in 2 medium depth pans if I were to make this again. Served with a single recipe of Chive and Brie strata also found on this site, crisp bacon and Hash Browns 21 also found here. All foods hold well with sterno/racks, but everything disappeared quickly!

I thought this had good flavors but an awful, incredibly dense texture my husband liked it and my guests avoided it. I used a lot of Tabasco, a little more mustard, and garlic when I cooked the onions & mushrooms. I didn't bother cooking the peppers as I prefer them crisp, and used part cheddar/part swiss for the cheddar, but otherwise followed the recipe to the letter. I'm not sure why this came out so dense, with the little pockets of egg mixture almost curdled--possibly cooking at a lower temperature might help next time? I might try it again, possibly slicing the bread very thinly instead of using cubes. Also note that mine never puffed.

Used this recipe for a bridal shower brunch. Served 20 people although there were a lot of other dishes too. Everyone raved and 11 of the attendees requested the recipe. I have made this recipe many times and it is a hit---always.


Overnight Strata

You’re wondering… Does a Strata Recipe have to set overnight? If you want to make one for dinner, do you have to start it in the morning?

HOW LONG DOES A STRATA NEED TO SOAK?

You do need to allow some time for the bread to soak up the eggs.

The bread should be fully saturated with liquid. This is faster when the bread is fresh. However, if you are repurposing a day-old (stale) loaf of bread, that is perfectly fine, but the Strata will need longer to soak.

As a general rule, you should allow the Strata to rest at least one hour before baking.

But, of course, it can rest for up to 18 hours, so it’s the perfect overnight breakfast casserole to make the night before a big family event!


Anything Strata: A Recipe Formula for Holidays and Everyday

Nine Five years ago, I wrote a book proposal on strata, that family of savory and sweet bread puddings that are frugal, adaptable and universally loved.

It never sold. I’m happy that I didn’t have to recipe test 70 savory strata recipes–that would be a lot of bready meals. .

The experience did give me the foundation for producing strata at the drop of a hat. And I discovered that I prefer savory bread puddings to sweet ones.

What I love about savory strata, apart from its economy, is its versatility. For seasonal cooks that means you can make strata any time of the year using whatever vegetable is in abundance. For last Sunday’s Slow Food potluck, I made one with roasted butternut squash, a vegetable I have aplenty.

At this time of year, use whatever’s in cold storage or the freezer to dream up a strata based on this formula . It’s a great way to keep eating local whenever you’re stuck here in the veggie doldrums of winter.

Savory Strata Formula

Here’s how to make a savory bread pudding with most anything you have on hand. There are only three parts to a savory strata:

Part 1: The Bread

Some recipes say to cut off the crusts. If you want to get fancy or are making a sweet strata for dessert, then by all means trim off the crusts. But I like the textural contrast of more and less chew–and not wasting bread. In fact, I collect crusts and loaf ends in my freezer just for the purposes of making a strata. I tear the bread, generally–unless I want more uniformity, and then I cut–before toasting until crisp.

8 to 10 slices nicely fills a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Part 2: The Custard

This is a no-fuss mixture of milk and eggs. I use a proportion of roughly 2 eggs to 1 cup of milk. To add richness, replace a portion of milk with half and half or heavy cream and include an extra egg yolk. Or, to lighten it up, substitute vegetable or chicken broth. Season each cup of milk with 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus any other herbs or spices you like. If you want to check the flavorings, but are concerned about salmonella, mix up the milk with the seasonings and taste before you add the eggs.

2 1/2 cups of custard brings enough moisture to the standard baking dish and yields a crispy top once baked.

Part 3: The Flavorful Filling

This is where you get creative. Anything goes and in any quantity, leftovers included. The only guidelines are to use combinations that appeal to you, generally 2 to 3 ingredients, and make certain that they taste great on their own. Most ingredients need to be cooked in advance, especially any leafy greens, mushrooms or ground meats.

For my butternut squash strata, I roast the squash in olive oil, salt and pepper and ground dried rosemary, and tasted it to be sure it was well seasoned. With cooked greens, such as spinach, chard or kale, I like to add freshly grated nutmeg or red pepper flakes along with the salt. Go with your gut.

Finally, while strata is the ideal use for that hunk of dried-up cheese, know that cheese is optional.*

1 to 3 cups of added vegetables and meats plus 1 to 3 cups of cheese produces a strata with interesting variety and flavors.

Baking Times:

For a 9 by 13-inch baking dish (or equivalent), bake at 375°F for 45-50 minutes until the center is springy to the touch and the top is nicely browned.

For individual strata is large muffin tins or ramekins, bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes until the center is springy to the touch and the top is nicely browned.

Bonus: Getting Fancy

I’m certain you’ve seen them on restaurant menus. So, how do you dress up your own savory strata recipes?

It’s easy. Cut the bread nice and even (without the crusts, see “bread” above), enrich the filling with half and half or cream and include out-of-the ordinary ingredients, such as wild mushrooms, crab, or leeks.

Bake the strata in individual ramekins (reducing the baking time by 10 to 15 minutes) or use a round cutter to cut servings from a standard baking dish.


Easy Strata and Variations

Saute mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and set aside.

Whisk half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper until smooth. Spray a 9-by-13-inch Pyrex or ceramic baking dish with vegetable cooking spray.

Line bottom with 6 slices of bread. Scatter half of the ham, and half of the mushrooms over the bread, then sprinkle with half of the scallions and cheese. Pour 1 cup of egg mixture over the top. Repeat layers with remaining bread, ham, mushrooms, cheese and scallions. Slowly pour remaining egg mixture evenly over top. Cover with plastic wrap, then weight down casserole with 3 16-ounce cans for at least 15 minutes to submerge ingredients. (Can be refrigerated overnight, but return to room temperature before baking.)

Adjust oven rack to middle position. Bake in preheated 325-degree oven until custard is just set, about 50 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until strata is spotty brown and puffy (watch carefully), about 5 minutes longer. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes, then serve immediately.


How to Make a Strata

Chop bacon into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Cook until crispy. Set aside on paper towels and pat to remove excess grease. Pour all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon grease out of the pan. Cook shallots in remaining fat until softened. Set aside.

Whisk eggs for 1&ndash2 minutes. Whisk in milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir in reserved bacon, shallots, cheese, and parsley. Fold in the torn bread.

Pour into the prepared pan and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 24.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake strata for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until golden, puffed, and set in the center. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. (The strata will deflate as is rests.) Scoop portions with a large spoon rather than trying to cut into squares.

Strata is otherwise known as &ldquothe breakfast casserole that your overnight guests will think you toiled away on all morning when in reality, you simply whipped it up the night before and just popped in the oven.&rdquo

Stratas are egg casseroles made with bread&mdashlots of it. You could call them savory bread puddings. Two things I love about stratas (besides how delicious they are):

  1. They&rsquore make-ahead.
  2. You can make them with just about any ingredients you desire or have on hand.

Look at that golden eggy bread! Sigh.

Let&rsquos make a Bacon and Cheese Strata and then I&rsquoll show you a few more of my favorite variations.

Start with bread. Any bread will do, but I tend to go for the fresh baked French loaves in my grocery store. Rip it into chunks don&rsquot even bother cubing it. When you measure, press it down a bit in the measuring cup. A large glass measure works well here, and too much bread is better than too little.

You&rsquoll also need milk, eggs, and seasoning. For the seasoning, I almost always keep it simple: salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Mustard powder adds a little tang and keeps things interesting.

Whisk the eggs first, then whisk in the milk and seasoning.

Here&rsquos where you can get creative. We&rsquore adding crispy bacon, shallots, cheese (lots of cheese), and parsley.

Last, stir in the bread. Pour the whole thing into a greased pan, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24. At first, you&rsquoll think the mixture looks too wet, too milky. That&rsquos where the time in the fridge works its magic.

The next morning, sip your coffee, read the paper, do some online shopping, all while your sumptuous strata bakes in the oven.

The strata will poof gorgeously in the oven and deflate once it rests. You do want to give it about 5 minutes to rest after coming out of the oven. This gives the eggs a chance to set up. Also, you won&rsquot risk burning the roof of your mouth.

The recipe for this strata can be found below. Here are a few variations!

1 - Spinach Artichoke Strata

Replace salt, pepper, and mustard with 1 1/2 teaspoons Greek seasoning.

Whisk 3 ounces softened cream cheese into the egg mixture, then stir in:

  • 10 ounces chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 can (14-ounce size) quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • a dash of Tabasco

2 - Italian Strata

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Saute 1/2 cup onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Add 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Stir into the egg mixture:

  • 1 cup quartered pepperoni slices
  • 3/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • mushrooms/onions/garlic

3 - Green Chile

Stir into the egg mixture:

  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack

If your tomatoes are very juicy, remove some of the seeds and pulp.

Serve with sliced avocado and salsa.

Please don&rsquot feel limited to these variations. I&rsquod love to hear your ideas for flavors&mdashroasted veggies and goat cheese, pesto and chicken &hellip I&rsquoll stop now. Let&rsquos hear yours!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound sausage, casings removed
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 10 cups cubed, day-old bread
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ cups cubed Black Forest ham
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil

Generously grease a 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Heat a skillet over medium heat cook and stir sausage until crumbly and completely browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to the prepared casserole dish.

Cook and stir mushrooms in the same skillet over medium heat until liquid has been released and mushrooms are lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes drain.

Mix mushrooms, eggs, bread, milk, Cheddar cheese, ham, spinach, flour, mustard powder, salt, butter, and basil together in a large bowl pour over sausage. Cover casserole dish and refrigerate, 2 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake in the preheated oven until a knife inserted into the center of the strata comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.


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Nutrition Information:

A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.


Watch the video: Creamy Vegetable Casserole Recipe - Easy Casserole Recipe (December 2021).