Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens
I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine a few years back and have made it countless times since then. Brunch is one of my favorite ways to entertain friends so I am always looking for great recipes and this one certainly qualifies. It is always a crowd pleaser and I hope you will try it. It is great for Christmas morning as it has vibrant red roasted tomatoes and luscious green spinach and looks very festive. I tastes even better and is a good vegetarian option. Because I am not a vegetarian, I often serve it with a side of apple chicken sausages which is a nice touch.
I recently made it for brunch with friends from bible study, read all about it in Set Aside Busy for Brunch and a Deep Breath, and it did not disappoint.
Because this is not my original recipe, although I can pretty much make it in my sleep which is often the case as it gets made right before bed and put in the fridge overnight, I can’t reproduce it for you here on my blog but this link will take you right to it, Sourdough Strata with Tomatoes and Greens.
I would, however, be happy to give you a few hints as to what yummy goodness awaits you and a few thoughts on what has worked best for me in making this dish.
Beautiful ripe plum tomatoes …
tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh thyme (you could stop right there and be happy but it gets even better, think cheese – lots and lots of cheese, so keep going) …
and roasted until rich and full of flavor. Yes, you will need to soak your sheet tray after roasting the tomatoes. Don’t line it with foil or parchment as you need to be able to scoop and flip the tomatoes during roasting. No shortcuts, you’ll just have to use a little elbow grease and clean the pan or maybe you are fortunate and have children big enough to clean the pan. I envy you. Either way, I promise, it will be worth it.
A good crusty sourdough is really the best bread for this strata. Don’t trim the crust, use every crusty, crunchy bit!
I told you there would be cheese. The recipe calls for Fontina and Parmesan, if you can swing the price, use Parmigiano Reggiano and then save a sliver to eat with a slice of pear. You’ll thank me later.
I have always used spinach but you can use any green such as kale, collard, arugula, etc. It would be great with arugula – I’ll have to try that soon.
I know, right? Just wait until it is baked and bubbly and gooey and so delicious that you forbid anyone to speak to you until it is gone so as not to ruin the blissful moment you are having.
If you’ll excuse me, I have some in the fridge leftover from brunch last Thursday, I think I hear it calling my name.
Okay, just a few more things before I go …
Be sure to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge to allow the bread time to soak up the eggs and milk.
Take it out of the fridge about 30-45 minutes before baking and let it come to room temperature, you will get better results that way.
Be sure to turn off the heat and let it rest in the oven for at least 10-15 minutes so it has time to set up properly.
And let me know what you think once you are ready to talk (or type a comment) again that is.