Vegetable strata can be a breakfast dish or a side to your Thanksgiving feast. Either way, you can eat the leftovers (if there are any!) again for breakfast on Friday!
I’ve mentioned several times that in our house we love a good holiday breakfast or brunch. We are huge fans of breakfast casseroles and bakes to get the job done. Last year my recipe for Christmas Morning Casserole went a little bit internet bonkers.
So did this Bacon Spinach Breakfast Casserole, which is really a bacon spinach strata. I thought that for this holiday season it would be fun to follow those same lines and make a breakfast dish that could also double as a side at your holiday table.
So I made this Veggie Strata that is LOADED with hearty vegetables. There are roasted sweet potatoes and onions. Red and yellow bell peppers. Chopped fresh spinach. Mushrooms!!! All tossed with thick, crusty pieces of sourdough, milk, eggs, and fontina cheese. It’s a casserole dream.
You can make this one ahead of time in a couple of ways -- toss all the ingredients together, pour the milk/egg/cheese mixture over the top, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. OR!! You can toss all the ingredients together and then let them sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, take just 1 or 2 minutes to mix up the eggs/cheese/milk, pour it over the top, and then bake.
I opted for the second way, which lets the bread pieces dry out in the fridge overnight. The first way bakes up almost like a bread pudding. The bread, eggs, and milk all work together to dish out in a sort of firm custard casserole way. The second way keeps the bread and vegetables in definitive pieces, with the eggs baking up all around. The top bread pieces still have some toasty oven crunch. That way is my favorite.
Of course, you don’t have to make this dish ahead of time at all. Everything can be put together the day of and baked to yield totally delicious results.