Stratas are savory bread puddings. They can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They need good crusty bread that takes a good long soak. I made this for a retreat my dad went on, so I prepared it in stages which worked great. Two days before the retreat I sautéd the vegetables and prepared the strata. The day before I let the strata soak while I was at work, when I came home I baked the strata. Easy and convenient! (Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture!)
I recommend using a slightly stale, hearty, crusty bread. If your bread is too soft it might turn to mush in a long soak (which could be remedied by just soaking it for less time). This can easily be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, so get creative with what’s on hand.
Zucchini and Spinach Strata
- 1 1/2 large zucchini, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small loaf of bread, torn in bite size chunks (enough to completely cover the bottom of your pan)
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 8 oz Italian cheese blend, shredded
- 3 cups milk
- 6 eggs
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
In a large skillet, saute the zucchini and onion until tender and just beginning to brown. In a 9″x13″ baking dish, layer the torn bread chunks, spinach, basil, and zucchini-onion sauté. When cool, top with shredded cheese. In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour liquid over the strata, cover with foil and let soak for about 8 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30 minutes covered, remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.