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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vegetable Strata

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This strata is a wonderful way to use the produce that floods green markets at this time of year. Better still, the dish is relatively easy to make. While there is some chopping involved, the strata comes together quickly and the finished dish makes a wonderful entree for a brunch or light supper. The recipe, which comes from Fine Cooking, is straight forward and easy to follow, and you'll have no problem with this dish, if you follow the recipe instructions. If you want to extract the most flavor from the vegetables, make sure they are browned before they are layered into the casserole. The browning is simple to accomplish if you do not crowd the pan and let the vegetables sit undisturbed for a couple of minutes before you flip them over. Unlike most strata, this one can be baked as soon as it is assembled, and that makes it a great candidate for a weeknight meatless meal. This is a nice recipe, and, if you are partial to egg dishes, I really think you'll like this one. Here's how it is made.

Vegetable Strata...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine


About a dozen 1/2-inch-thick slices French or Italian bread (enough to cover the bottom of your pan), day-old or lightly toasted
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups milk or a mixture of milk and cream
5 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
Pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 loosely packed cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 medium summer squash or zucchini, or 1 of each
2 ripe tomatoes


1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter an 8x8-inch baking dish. Rub top of each slice of bread with garlic clove. Lay slices in dish in one layer, cutting them into pieces where necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Measure milk in a 1-quart measure, preferably one with a spout. (Or measure it and transfer it to a bowl.) Add eggs, half of the cheese, red pepper flakes, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to beat eggs and to combine. Add basil and stir gently. Set aside.
3) In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and colors lightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the squash, cut them lengthwise into quarters and, holding quarters together, slice them into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Stir squash into onions, spread in a single layer, and let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning; check color before you turn them.
4) Meanwhile, halve and seed tomatoes. Coarsely chop them. When squash is lightly browned on both sides and crisp-tender, add tomatoes, stir to toss, and take vegetables off the heat.
5) With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to baking dish, spreading them evenly over bread. Give milk and egg mixture a stir and gently pour it all into the dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until milk and egg mixture sets, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes, slice into squares with the edge of a spatula, and use the spatula to lift out the pieces. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Banana Muffins

Two Years Ago Today: Sweet Pickles

Three Years Ago Today: Salmon Chowder


Jenn said...

Most of the time, I don't mind a little chopping.. it's sort of like therapy after a long day of work :) Although I consider myself a true carnivore, I can appreciate a delicious veggie dish ... this would be one of those!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

This is a beautiful dish. I live using up zucchini and tomatoes at the end of summer.

Banana Wonder said...

I could eat strata every night for dinner. All good things going on here.

Jeannie Tay said...

I love the wonderful mixture of vegetables in this strata! So yummy and can be eaten with minimal guilt!

Vicki Bensinger said...

This is such a nice hearty meal. I can't believe the entire strata popped out of the container. I bet that makes it easy to serve. Great recipe one that I'm sure to make.

Hovkonditorn said...

This sounds like something for me, delicious!

Salsa Verde said...

Dear Mary,
Good morning. What a fantastic combination of ingredients and amazing looking dish you shared with us today.
Thanks a lot!

Pegasuslegend said...

my kind of strata and love the rich colors in this dish beautifully captured!

StephenC said...

For some reason cauliflower is crying out to me to be strata-fied.

Priya said...

Excellent for my tonite's dinner,loving it.

Kim Garceau said...

This strata looks absolutely PERFECT! It's full of veggies so full of flavors!!!

bellini said...

This looks so good for us as well. I will be sad to see all of the fresh veggies go out of the market.

Shug said...

I am not a meat eater, so this recipe is most definitely a winner for me...Looks delicious!!

Enjoy your day to the fullest...

Tricia said...

Ooooooh's and awwwwww's from me! Love this recipe. I love everything about it. There is something so relaxing about chopping your own vegetables and bringing it all together in one dish. Beautiful.

Susan Lindquist said...

A perfect Meatless Monday supper ... and so true, all those vegetables are sitting on my back porch in various states of ripening (tomatoes) and fuzzy readiness (squash)... guess it's a good time to make strata!

Cranberry Morning said...

That is a beautiful dish! I love serving food that looks pretty as well as tasting delicious.

Haddock said...

As this is only vegetable, I am going to try this.

From the Kitchen said...

Beautiful and delicious, it meets my requirements for a nice brunch or supper meal. I've been searching for ways to use our basil before the first freeze. The freezer is full of pesto and basil butter already!


Sandi said...

That looks wonderful Mary....really good. Love all the veggies!!

sississima said...

tasty vegetables prepared so thick, bye SILVIA

The Café Sucré Farine said...

This is so pretty Mary and certainly loaded with great nutritional ingredients! I love all the colors.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

and yet another way to use up my courgettes (zucchini)thanks. Keep well Diane

Guru Uru said...

I absolutely love vegetable filled dishes like this, great job my friend :D

Choc Chip Uru

Erica said...

I love strata,Mary! I usually make mine with chorizo, but I love this vegetarian version for my husband!

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, This is a beautiful and delicious meal. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo said...

What a wonderul dish and so colorful...anothe gem!

Lucia from Madison said...

This one is bookmarked and will be made. It looks amazing! Thank you for sharing this.

Anne Regalado said...

I wouldn't mind some chopping ! :D The combination of flavors in this strata sounds delicious !

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