Breakfast or dinner, this Mediterranean Strata goes both ways. It’s open minded that way.
When nights turn into days and the list of weekend to-dos include brunch or make ahead lunch or just planning ahead for a different take on dinner for Monday night, I go for egg soaked bread, cheese and some extra additions that create a heavenly meld with aforementioned egg, bread and cheese.
Which pretty much leaves the playing field wide open.
Some people that know me probably think I live on this stuff. Stratas are my standard bring along when I’m asked to bring a breakfast for a baby shower brunch or when I’m on breakfast duty during our yearly girl’s get away weekend. I’m fine by that.
I’ll leave the jello shots to my college roomies who end up with the more technical part of the bargain.
Now with this Mediterranean Strata recipe, it really can morph to fit whatever your taste desires or what you can scrounge up from the cupboard or fridge. Heck, throw in the kitchen sink if you want.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
- 6 cups white bread, cut into ½ inch chunks
- ½ cup artichoke hearts, cut into ⅛ths
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, quartered
- ¼ cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, slivered
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
- 4 ounces or 1 cup Ciliegine Fresh Mozzarella cheese balls, halved
- 6 eggs
- 1½ cups half and half
- ¼ cup basil leaves, slivered
- Kosher salt
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter. For individual stratas, brush insides of four 1-cup baking dishes. If serving family style, brush inside of 2-quart baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In large skillet over medium heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add garlic and shallot; sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and marjoram and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove from heat and place mushroom mixture in large bowl with bread chunks, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, Parmesan and Fresh Mozzarella and stir to mix. Season lightly with kosher salt. Fill baking dishes evenly with the bread mixture.
- In 4-cup liquid measuring cup, mix eggs with half and half and pour 1 cup of egg mixture evenly over bread in each dish. Garnish with basil and more Parmesan.
- Place baking dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until eggs have set. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Remember what I said? Eggs. Bread. Cheese. You really can’t go wrong.
Last weekend was one of those aforementioned weekends with the girlies, my old college roomates aka sorority sisters. Yep, I’m one of THOSE girls.
From Lake Powell to Jackson Hole, to the beaches of California and the dregs of the “Mexican Riviera” cruise that cost me $300 for the all-inclusive tour plus a $760 bar tab (all-inclusive NOT!), we’ve celebrated our bond every year for the past way too many to admit to.
We like to let our youthful antics, adolescent sense of humor and dewy skin keep the pundits guessing how long this frivolity has been going on.
These are the girls I’d bet my life on, and over the years I have, just as they have with me. These are the kind of friends you don’t see for a year and then BAM, you’re dancing to Madonna from the rafters—or ON the rafters as some of the still limber of the lot will still do.
They’re true besties. We still drive each other crazy with our quirks and flaws, but nobody can make me laugh harder, cheer me on with more vigor or make me feel more at home no matter where we are than these ladies.
I’ll chalk it up to history and sometimes fondly call it blackmail. But it’s really because we’re sisters.
On our reunion trips, I usually get assigned breakfast duty which is when a good old fashioned strata or Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole will appear, but this year I happily took their lead and cooked up the menus already assigned.
No kids, no husbands, no need for slathering on makeup because there’s no one to impress, no place to go except to the kitchen for food, to the beach for play, back to the kitchen for more jello shots and to the hot tub for curing those unlimbered dancing muscles.
It’s just good food, card games, outdoor water sports and a few curse words as golf clubs narrowly escape a dunk in the lake. And lots and lots of stories.
It’s what makes summer, and life in general, worth living. Living to the fullest with those you love and love you back.
Have a great weekend everyone and keep your hands inside the ride at all times. Happy Friday Faves.
Before we get into it, did you enter my Whole Foods Market gift card giveaway? Well get on that. It’s not like you can’t use free grocery money!
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Have a fantastic weekend and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. That leaves a pretty wide berth, so have fun.
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