Breakfast Holidays Recipes

Christmas Breakfast Strata

strata

There isn’t much talk of breakfast on Christmas morning; I guess most people focus on the dinner.  But we have to eat something as we dive into stockings and unwrap presents…and preferably not just candy canes…or a regular old bowl of oatmeal.

For us, the solution is strata.  Strata is essentially bread pudding, only with savory flavors — cheese, meat, herbs, veggies, etc — instead of sweet.  This cheesy, hearty dish is special enough for a holiday, but fast and easy to make, so you won’t miss out on the festivities.  There are a lot of variations of this dish, and you can add any sauteed veggies or some browned sausage if you like, but this is the simplest version:

breakfast strata

Whisk 2 cups milk (whole or 2%), 5 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and the juice of half a lemon.  Cut a baguette or Ciabatta bread into cubes (about 12 oz, or 6 cups) and place into a greased baking dish (I rub it with a buttered paper towel).  Chop about 2 cups of arugula (or basil, parsley, spinach) and sprinkle over the bread.  Pour the egg mixture on top of the bread and press down so the bread starts to soak up the egg.  Let sit for at least 15 minutes then use your hands to gently stir the mixture again (the bread should be soaked — if there are dry pieces still and the liquid is all soaked up, add another beaten egg.  If the mixture seems too wet, press in a few more bread cubes before baking).  Then cover with grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and some shreds or slices of sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)

strata

and bake at 350 until the top is browned and the center is no longer liquidy, about 35-40 minutes.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes then serve with a side of fresh fruit, sausage, or both.

breakfast strata

Yum!

breakfast strata

 

Christmas Breakfast Strata
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 baguette or ciabatta bread
  • 2 cups arugula (or basil, parsley, spinach)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Whisk 2 cups milk (whole or 2%), eggs, salt, pepper, and the lemon juice. Cut a baguette or Ciabatta bread into cubes (about 12 oz, or 6 cups) and place into a greased baking dish (I rub it with a buttered paper towel). Chop arugula (or basil, parsley, spinach) and sprinkle over the bread.
  2. Pour the egg mixture on top of the bread and press down so the bread starts to soak up the egg. Let sit for at least 15 minutes then use your hands to gently stir the mixture again (the bread should be soaked — if there are dry pieces still and the liquid is all soaked up, add another beaten egg. If the mixture seems too wet, press in a few more bread cubes before baking).
  3. Then cover with grated Parmesan cheese and some shreds or slices of sharp cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 until the top is browned and the center is no longer liquidy, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes
Notes
Serve with a side of fresh fruit, sausage, or both.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    christa
    December 23, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    i’m definitely making this for my family on christmas morning (otherwise we really do eat candy and chocolate all day). i was thinking of using trader joe’s rosemary salt bread for added flavor. and of course, i’m serving it with candied bacon (coated in brown sugar, cayenne, and pepper and baked in the oven). thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Kirty
    December 24, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Making this for sure! Can I prep it today to save a little time tomorrow morning?

    • Reply
      Amelia
      December 24, 2011 at 11:07 am

      You can cut the bread into cubes today, as well as grate cheese & chop herbs. Just don’t make the egg/milk mixture until the morning, as this isn’t good food safety-wise.

  • Reply
    Deana
    December 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Uh oh! Why isn’t it good food safety? I kept it in the fridge all mixed together. I hope I don’t make everyone sick …

    • Reply
      Amelia
      December 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Don’t worry! Many bread pudding recipes call for soaking the bread in the egg mixture overnight in the fridge, and it gets cooked so it’s fine. Just in general, it’s considered safer not to leave mixed egg mixtures sitting around after you beat the eggs.

  • Reply
    shelley
    December 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Do you think it would compromise the taste or texture much to use nonfat milk and lowfat cheese? I’d like to make a non-holiday/special occasion version!

    • Reply
      Amelia
      December 29, 2011 at 8:32 am

      The low-fat cheese would be fine, but it’d almost be better to use regular sharp/potent cheese and just use less of it, because in this dish the cheese is for flavor more than anything. As far as the milk, stick to 2%. If you use whole grain bread and add in some sauteed veggies, it’s still a healthy breakfast!

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