If you’re looking for a crowd pleasing, make-ahead breakfast recipe for your 4th of July festivities, this strata is it. (I’ll post the Sausage Veggie version this weekend.) Egg casseroles can be overly dry or ultra eggy, but these are more like a frittata and are full of flavor.
Tomatoes are just coming into season and combined with the basil, this tastes of summer. The recipe is also adaptable to adding other herbs and seasonings.
Start by slicing the bread and layering on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
Slice the tomatoes, shred the cheese (I use the food processor for ease) and slice the basil with a knife or these handy Five Blade Herb Scissors that a friend gave me and are so useful. Click on image for link.
Layer the tomatoes on top of the bread, sprinkle or cut basil on top and cover with shredded cheese.
Add another layer of bread slices, pour egg mixture over and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Prep: 30 minutes | Setting: Overnight | Baking: 1 hour | Serves: 8
- 12 slices sourdough or regular French bread cut in 1/2-inch diagonal slices, or enough for two layers in a 9×13 pan
- 5-6 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded (or use herb shredding scissors)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups grated Fontina or Gruyère cheese (or a combination)
- 4 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 3 cups evaporated skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Lightly coat a shallow 2-quart casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray and line with half of the bread slices to cover.
- Arrange the tomato slices over the bread.
- Scatter the basil on top.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle grated cheese over all.
- Lay remaining bread slices over the cheese and press down.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg whites together until foamy.
- Add milk, oregano, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Pour mixture over bread.
- Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle the strata with Parmesan cheese and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until puffy and golden brown.
- Serve hot.
Note: Reheats well in the microwave or oven.
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