A rustic breakfast dish or side, this strata can feed a crowd with minimal effort on the cook’s part. And it’s tasty! I’ve used some light spring flavors of leeks, creamy ricotta, fresh thyme & chives, but you could use whatever veggie-cheese-herb combination appeals to you. Leftover Easter ham would be a great addition too! Happy Easter to all celebrating, and happy Fiesta Friday — come check out this week’s party!
Leek & Ricotta Strata
Adapted from this Simply Recipes Strata by Elise Bauer
- one loaf Italian or French bread, cut into cubes
- one leek, washed thoroughly, green parts and outer couple layers removed, then white & light green parts chopped fine
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter (plus more for buttering dish)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup ricotta
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp. fresh chives, chopped fine
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C and butter an 8 x 11-inch casserole dish.
- Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet in one layer and toast them for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp; remove from the oven and set aside.
- Saute the chopped leeks in butter until completely softened, stirring often on low heat, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper.
- Place the bread cubes in the buttered casserole dish, then pour the buttery leeks on top and scatter spoonfuls of ricotta on top of those. Pour the egg mixture on top, add the herbs, and press down with clean hands to let the bread absorb the liquid and settle in the dish evenly. Give it one more sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. At this point you can store overnight or for a few hours, covered and refrigerated.
- Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for another 20 minutes, or until completely set and cooked. There should be no more liquid, and the edges should be browned and starting to separate from the sides of the dish. Cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!