There is something especially satisfying about waking up and knowing you have a delicious breakfast awaiting you with little or no effort on your part. This easy strata recipe can be made the night before and thrown in the oven to serve guests or, in my case, fellow hungover vacationers. It is also a great way to use up your now stale batch of Whole Wheat Bagels.
When I saw Rachael Ray make a strata on her show it struck me as strange that I have never made one before. The basics of a strata are that you take a buttered dish, fill it with stale bread and your flavorings, pour over an egg custard, allow to sit, then bake. The recipe is endlessly flexible, can be sweet or savory, and scales up to feed a crowd. You can also make this as healthy or as rich as you like. I used whole wheat bagels, 1% milk, and a small amount of cheese. But you could use croissants, whole milk or a dash of cream and extra cheese. I have visions of using up leftover ratatouille this way.
I also think this would work on a weekday: Wake up. Put strata in oven. Go for a run. Take strata out of oven. Shower. Chow down. In the winter, I do this same thing with overnight steel cut oats. I am a big believer in a solid breakfast, sometimes I even have two. Anyone have any good make ahead breakfast suggestions?
Tomato and Parsley Strata(serves 2)
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Grease your baking dish or dishes with butter or cooking spray. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and parsley. Put a layer of bagels then one of tomatoes in your prepared dish, repeat ending with tomatoes and pour egg mixture over top. Make sure you leave at least a centimeter from the top. Put cheddar cheese on top. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.