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Goat Cheese Strata with Peppers & Onions

8
55 minutes
20 minutes
Recipe developed for BC Egg by Diversivore

Bready, cheesy, eggy goodness with a more ‘grown-up’ dinnertime spin! This crowd-pleasing vegetarian strata recipe features big, bold French flavours, while being easy to make ahead of time.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups crusty whole wheat bread (325 g [~3/4 lb]) cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine
  • 6 extra large eggs or 7 large eggs
  • 2 cups (500 ml) milk
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • pinch thyme
  • 3.5 oz (100 gm) goat cheese
  • 3.5 oz (100 gm) emmental cheese shredded (see note)
  • fresh oregano to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, and a pinch of salt, and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red wine and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Butter an 8×8 baking tray, then layer it with the bread cubes. (See the notes below if you want to prepare this the night before)
  3. Scatter shredded and crumbled cheeses over the bread, reserving a bit to sprinkle on top at the end. I like to toss the bread cubes a bit to mix the cheese in a little more.
  4. Scatter the cooked peppers and onions over the bread and cheese.
  5. Combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and thyme. Whisk together thoroughly, then pour over the bread/cheese/veggies. If necessary, gently press the bread down to make sure that it sinks in to the liquid. Let stand for 30 minutes on the counter.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the egg is just set and no longer jiggly in the center. Finish the strata under the broiler to brown and crisp up the surface (2-3 minutes, but keep an eye on it).

Notes

Emmental substitutes/variations – North American ‘Swiss’ style cheeses will work nicely in place of true Emmental. Other nutty, firm aged cheeses would also work nicely (e.g. Gruyere, Maasdam, or aged Fontina).

Make-ahead option – Stratas can be put together ahead the day before and baked when you want them ready, but you do need to add an extra step to keep the bread from becoming too soggy in the eggs. Simply scatter the cut bread pieces on a baking tray and bake in a low oven (about 250°F/120°C) for 20 minutes, or until the bread cubes are dry and a little browned. Once this is done, you can continue with the remaining steps as written above.

Bake and freeze option – Once baked and cooled, your strata can be refrigerated for a 2-3 days or frozen for 3+ months. Refrigerated or frozen strata is best warmed up in a low oven. You can microwave individual portions too, but make sure to do so carefully and in small time increments, or you might find that the eggy portion has a tendency to explode and make a disaster out of your microwave.

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