A strata is an Italian egg and bread casserole. You can assemble this dish and refrigerate it over night, then cook in the morning which makes it a great dish for brunches. This version makes use of seasonal leeks when you don’t feel like eating them in the tradition potato leek soup (though that’s something I look forward to every year!) or leek quiche. I liked making the strata because I could make a dish as satisfying as a quiche but with wheat bread instead of a crust.
The cubed bread in the buttered baking dish.
The eggs mixture being poured over the bread.
3 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
7 large eggs
3 medium sized leeks, chopped fine
1 cup milk
8 ounces feta cheese (or chevre), crumbled
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
Method: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on med/high heat and then add the leeks. Saute them until they are soft. Meanwhile butter a 3 quart casserole dish and fill the bottom with the cubed bread.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, thyme, salt, and pepper until will blended. Add the crumbled feta and the leeks when the leeks have cooled down a bit. Mix well and then pour over the bread cubes making sure you spread it out evenly. Let the dish sit for about ten minutes to let the eggs and milk soak the bread.
Bake in the oven between 45 minutes to an hour*. The sides should pull away slightly and be golden.
Recipe notes: This is a very flexible dish. You can make many substitutions such as chard and onions for the leeks. You can use a sharp cheddar instead of feta or add Parmesan to it. Keep the bread and the milk proportions the same and change out any of the other ingredients you like.
*Check it at 45 minutes, which is when mine was done, but some ovens cook hotter and some cooler so if it seems a little wet on the top still let it cook a little longer. It should be moist inside but the top shouldn’t have a runny appearance.