Eggs are the perfect breakfast. It’s always great to start your day with a healthy protein boost. Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, omelettes, french toast; If you’re a fan of eggs then the breakfast possibilities are endless! I’m here to add one more fantastic egg dish to that list – Breakfast Strata!
This breakfast dish is extremely easy to make. All you need is bread, eggs, milk and seasoning. Everything apart from that is customisable. I’ve gone with spinach, onions, capsicum, tomato and olives but you could add pretty much any vegetable you like. The spinach is cooked along with the onions to remove excess moisture but the rest are left raw. Tomatoes have a lot of water in them so I like to remove the inner seeds and add thin slices to the strata. I also love the little pops of saltiness the olives provide. I’ve used plain white bread but you could use any bread you like. This recipe is great to get rid of slightly old, almost stale bread!
Given how easy the prep for this recipe is, it’s only fair that the cooking process be easy as well! Thanks to the Wonderchef 19-L OTG, you can be assured that your morning cook will be absolutely stress free. Baking is sometimes thought to be more finicky and calculated than it actually is. It’s the reason why so many people feel like they would rather invest in a microwave rather than an oven. Not me though, I think an oven definitely makes life easier! The whole concept of one tray dishes like this strata changed my life. That is, if you have a reliable machine you can trust. The Wonderchef OTG range is as reliable as they come.
Even heating is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to baking. That’s why I love the Wonderchef OTGs, be it the compact, budget 9 litre OTG or the roomy 40 litre OTG, you can be damn certain they’ll both have the same Wonderchef quality we know and love. I absolutely love watching this strata cook. The bread soaks up all the custard and it almost becomes like a soufflé. Watching it rise in the oven, all golden brown with bubbling cheese pockets is *chef’s kiss* and you can be I’m watching it all with my nose pressed up against the window! Well, not literally of course, but thanks to the heat resistant glass I can get pretty close up to watch the show without worrying about any mishaps!
I’ve chosen to make this strata in a loaf tin since the portion works out to be perfect for two. This Ambrosia loaf pan is a staple you should definitely have in your arsenal. I like to line my loaf tin with baking paper for easy removal but you can also use a silicone mould like this Pavoni Plum Cake Mould and skip that step entirely. Use the Pavoni Platinum Silicone Muffin Mould and you’ve got yourself little individual strata portions!
Since I was taking pictures I took extra care to layer my veggies in a more aesthetically pleasing way, but I’ll let you in on a secret. I usually just dump all my ingredients into the egg custard mixture, mix it up and pour it into my mould! Since it is an easy recipe you can spend a few minutes arranging it but if you’re in a rush, feel free to dump-and-bake! Strata is best served hot with your morning cup of coffee!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours – Overnight
Bake Time: 45 minutes
- 1 ½ cups finely sliced spinach
- 1 small onion
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 3 eggs
- ¾ th cup milk
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 capsicum
- 1 small tomato
- 1 tbsp black olives
- 1 tbsp green olives
- ½ cup grated cheddar
- 3-4 slices of bread (about 100g)
- Grease and line a bread loaf tin with baking paper
- Begin by preparing your vegetables. Wash and dry your spinach and cut into thin slices. Finely chop the onions. Cut thin, round slices of the tomato discarding the seeds. Cut the capsicum into ¼ inch rounds*.
- Place a pan on medium heat and add ½ tbsp of olive oil.
- Once heated, add the onions and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the spinach and sweat till most of the water evaporates. You can lightly salt the spinach at this stage to draw out more water. This should take about 3-4 minutes
- Cool thoroughly.
- Chop or tear up the bread into small pieces.
- Grate the cheese and set aside.
- In a large bowl, take 3 eggs and beat thoroughly.
- Add the milk and whisk until combined.
- Add the salt, garlic powder and pepper and whisk thoroughly
- Assemble your strata. Add a layer of bread to the lined loaf tin, followed by the cooked onions and spinach. They’ll be slightly clumpy but you can de-clump them with your fingers and spread them evenly. Add a few tomato and capsicum slices along with some olives and top with a layer of cheese.
- Repeat the layers one more time.
- Give the eggs and milk mixture another whisk before pouring it into the mould. Try to pour the mixture evenly over the mould.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 2 hours. You can also make this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight**.
- Preheat your oven to 170c
- Transfer the mould to the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or until a knife entered into the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the strata to cool slightly before de-moulding it.
- Portion it out and serve!
*If you’re going with the dump-and-bake method then you can just chop the tomatoes and capsicum roughly. Do remember to remove the seeds of the tomato though.
** This is done to make sure the bread soaks up that lovely custard mixture. The longer you give it, the more time it’ll have to soak it all up.
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.