Vegetable Strata

I made this Vegetable Strata several weeks ago for my mother-in-law’s birthday brunch, but I forgot to blog about it!  It always makes my life easier when I have several blog posts created and ready to go.  I usually try to make several dishes on the weekends so I can have my posts ready for the week.  Life gets busy and sometimes the last thing I want to do after I get home from work is mess around in the kitchen when I could be watching episodes of Breaking Bad (my hubby and I are currently obsessed with this show).
       This strata was delicious and filling; the veggies, eggs, bread, and potatoes made this course shine, even without meat.  You could definitely add bacon or sausage and make this dish even more scrumptious and filling.  This strata can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake it.  It’s perfect for a fall brunch with family or friends.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Two 1/2-pound baguettes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the bread on 2 large baking sheets and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp; shift the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through.
  2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion, sweet potatoes, celery and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 6 minutes. Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
  3. Add the Gruyère, Parmesan and bread to the vegetables. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, stock, and milk and add to the vegetablie and bread mixture; toss until evenly mixed and moistened. Cover the strata with plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 4-quart glass or ceramic baking dish. Transfer the strata to the prepared baking dish and smooth the surface. Butter a large sheet of foil and cover the baking dish with it. Bake the strata in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, or until barely set. Remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until the strata is bubbling and the top is golden and crusty.
  5. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 6 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny.

*Adapted from Food & Wine

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