Food Blogging: Brunch Strata

Brunch is clearly the greatest meal of every week.  Make this awesome strata on Saturday when you know full well you are all going out that night. Then you can invite all your hungover girlfriends over to share it on Sunday...maybe while knitting and watching the crazy Real Housewives of New Jersey. For this recipe, you can add or eliminate stuff - this time I made it half vegetarian for one of my friends. Sometimes I add in asparagus to each layer, and I love to double the goat cheese, because goat cheese is amazing.

  • 1 loaf of firm bread - I use wheat or an oatmeal loaf, because my mom won't let me eat white bread
  • 6 oz prosciutto (or black forest ham if the stupid Whole Foods isn't carrying it when you shop)
  • 8 oz goat cheese (I doubled this)
  • 4 oz provolone, grated - about 1 1/2 cups, but you can also use slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 6 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (this came from my herb garden)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk (soy is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with 1 layer of bread.  Tear the slices if you have to, to cover the entire bottom of the pan.  Arrange half of the prosciutto evenly over the bread.  Crumble half of the goat cheese and layer half of the provolone over the bread.  Sprinkle this layer with half of the green onions and the basil.

Add another layer of bread, and tear to fit the entire pan.  Layer remaining prosciutto, goat cheese, provolone, green onions, and basil on top of the bread.  Cut the remaining bread into 1/4-inch cubes, and sprinkle these on top.

Next, whisk the eggs, milk, mustard and salt in a bowl.  Season with pepper.  Pour this mix over the strata, and press down on the whole thing with a spatula.  Drizzle the melted butter over the strata.  Cover, and refrigerate over night.

On Sunday,pour yourself a mimosa to start recovering from last night.  Then, about an hour before your girlfriends come over, preheat the oven to 350*F.  Uncover the strata and let it sit at room temperature for about a half an hour.  Bake until the center is set, which takes an hour.  Switch to the broiler, and broil the strata for about a minute, to make the top all golden and delicious.  Pour another mimosa when your friends arrive, and dole out the deliciousness.  You can serve this with salad, or whatever everyone finds at the farmers market that morning.  Nom Nom Nom.