So what is a strata? Wikipedia says that it is “a family of layered casserole dishes in American cuisine.” I say it is a great way to use leftover or stale bread. Here’s my take on traditional strata. Serve it for breakfast or brunch. Either way it is sure to satisfy.
6 thick slices multi-grain bread (leftover or stale is best)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (slim is OK but whole is better)
2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
6 ounces Gruyère cheese (grated)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 asparagus spears (remove woody part of stems)
1 tablespoon fresh chives (chopped)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into cubes. Slice the remaining bread into 2-inch strips. Lay the bread strips across the baking dish, slightly overlapping. If they come up the sides of the dish that’s OK. Add bread cubes to the bottom of the dish (over slices).
Whisk the eggs, milk and mustard in a large bowl. Stir in half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour three-fourths of this mixture over the bread cubes. Place asparagus spears on top then pour the remaining egg mixture over the top and finish with the remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or more) before baking.
Bake the strata until just set, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, sprinkle the top with chopped chives, and serve while still warm.
Note: Once the strata is complete, you can cover it (unbaked) and refrigerate overnight until you are ready to bake the next morning. This recipe serves two.