I’m busy, and frankly, so are you. I can only assume. Between working, blogging, planning a wedding, exercising once in a while, organizing a swap and watching Real Housewives (of anywhere) I have a lot going on. I’m sure you do to. That’s why I like make-ahead meals. You prep the night before, shove it in the fridge and throw it all together at supper time. Boom, so easy. This recipe is one of them.
A strata is basically just a baked savory french toast casserole. Delightful, no? Typically people serve it up for brunch, since you can make it the night before and just bake it off in the morning. However, I think its tasty for dinner too. This one includes broccoli and tomato, because that’s what I had, but you could add any number of meats and veggies. I also added some marscarpone cheese, because I had it leftover from Mother’s Day risotto, and I thought it would be delicious. It was. If you don’t have any you could probably leave it out or sub in some sour cream, I don’t think results would be catastrophic.
So, if you’re busy, even if it is just watching trashy Bravo reality shows, you should make this. You’ll have much more time to deliberate whether or not Ramona is in fact a pinot grigio-aholic.
4 cups cubed day old bread
1.25 cups low-fat milk
2 tbsp. marscarpone
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I only had mozzarella – but I bet gruyere would be way better)
2 tbsp. grated parmesan
1.5 cups lightly steamed broccoli
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used halved grape tomatoes)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
If you’re going to eat this at night, prep everything the morning you’re going to eat it. If you’re going to eat it for brunch, prep the night before.
1.) Cube up some day old bread. If your bread isn’t a little stale, just cube it up and leave it out for a few hours. Beat together eggs and milk with a fork. Add marscarpone, salt and pepper and combine. 2.) Spray an 8″x8″ baking pan with cooking spray. Layer in the bread, broccoli and tomatoes. Sprinkle over half the parmesan and mozzarella.
3.) Pour the egg mixture over it, making sure to cover all the bread. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
4.) When you’re ready to eat, bake it at 350* for 35-40 minutes, until the egg is set and the edges are browned slightly. Remove the foil and turn on the broiler for a minute or two to brown the cheese and bread on top.