Strata

This is a sort of savoury cross between French toast, Spanish omelette and bread and butter pudding. It barely lasted half an hour when we had some in the office!

Serves 4 people


 

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoon(s) oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 pepper, any colour
  • 1 dash(es) salt and black pepper
  • 0.5 loaf of crusty old bread, e.g. French stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 400 mL milk
  • 150 grams cheese (any hard, good-flavoured cheese will do)

 

  1. Butter an ovenproof dish, at least 4 cm deep.
  2. Slice or chop the onion.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for about 7 minutes.
  4. Trim the courgette and pepper, cut into chunks or slices and add to the pan.
  5. Stir and fry over medium heat until they start to go soft.
  6. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
  7. Cut the bread into roughly 2 – 3 cm cubes.Beat the eggs and milk together.
  8. Grate the cheese.

To assemble and bake:

  1. Place half the bread cubes in the dish and arrange evenly.
  2. Spread the vegetables on top of the bread followed by half of the grated cheese.
  3. Arrange the rest of the bread on top, and pour the milk mixture over it.
  4. Top with the rest of the grated cheese and more black pepper.
  5. Cover with cling film, and press gently to encourage the bread to soak up the liquid.
  6. Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for a few hours.
  7. If possible, allow to come back to room temperature before baking.
  8. Set the oven to 190oC, Gas 5, and bake the strata for about 40 minutes, until the top is browned and crunchy, and the middle is cooked through (i.e. not runny).
  9. Serve warm at any time of the day, accompanied by a tomato or green salad.

Method

  1. Butter an ovenproof dish, at least 4 cm deep.
  2. Slice or chop the onion.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion for about 7 minutes.
  4. Trim the courgette and pepper, cut into chunks or slices and add to the pan.
  5. Stir and fry over medium heat until they start to go soft.
  6. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.
  7. Cut the bread into roughly 2 – 3 cm cubes.Beat the eggs and milk together.
  8. Grate the cheese.

To assemble and bake:

  1. Place half the bread cubes in the dish and arrange evenly.
  2. Spread the vegetables on top of the bread followed by half of the grated cheese.
  3. Arrange the rest of the bread on top, and pour the milk mixture over it.
  4. Top with the rest of the grated cheese and more black pepper.
  5. Cover with cling film, and press gently to encourage the bread to soak up the liquid.
  6. Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for a few hours.
  7. If possible, allow to come back to room temperature before baking.
  8. Set the oven to 190oC, Gas 5, and bake the strata for about 40 minutes, until the top is browned and crunchy, and the middle is cooked through (i.e. not runny).
  9. Serve warm at any time of the day, accompanied by a tomato or green salad.

Ingredients

 

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoon(s) oil
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 pepper, any colour
  • 1 dash(es) salt and black pepper
  • 0.5 loaf of crusty old bread, e.g. French stick
  • 3 eggs
  • 400 mL milk
  • 150 grams cheese (any hard, good-flavoured cheese will do)

 


Additional Tips: The ingredients can be changed according to your preferences, and what you have available, e.g. ham or bacon, spinach, mushrooms, leftover vegetables, meat or fish.

Not only is it a delicious way of using up old bread and other leftover food, it is also an inexpensive and simple dish. For the best result, start this the night before to give the bread a chance to soak up the milk and eggs.

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