You really can't have brunch without some sort of an egg dish. And this one makes for a great presentation! Not to mention you can make it the night before and just bake it before serving - so it makes life easy!
I'm using more fresh Spring produce in this one, including leeks and mushrooms. Leeks are a cousin of onions and garlic and have the same antibacterial and antiviral elements. They also help detoxify the body! While mushrooms boost your immune system, regulate blood pressure (thereby reducing the risk of a stroke) and are good for your heart! Talk about a nutritionally loaded dish!
I used challah bread in this dish because it's so nice and fluffy, but one of those super soft "Italian" loafs (I have NO idea why they're called Italian bread....they're not. At all.) would do the trick too. You COULD use day old bread or a "stuffing" bread but you won't get as much volume from the finished dish.
Finally I added in gruyere cheese because I think it goes well with the mushroom & leek flavor. As always, you can use whatever cheese you like, or think will work well. And I encourage you to explore!
Give this dish a shot for your next Sunday brunch or anytime you need an easy, make-ahead egg dish!
Mushroom & Leek Strata
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
12 oz. mixed mushrooms
1/2 loaf challah (or other soft bread) cubed
1 C. gruyere cheese, shredded
2 C. milk (regular or non-dairy)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
butter or olive oil spray
Coat the dish with butter or olive oil spray. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a saute' pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and mushrooms and cook until soft. About 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl combine eggs and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Beat until well combined.
Layer ingredients into the prepared baking dish, starting with the bread. Cover the bottom with a single layer of bread cubes. Then add a layer of leeks & mushrooms. Followed by a layer of cheese. Continue in this fashion until the dish is full.
Pour the egg and milk mixture, evenly, over the layers. Cover the strata and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or up to overnight (you can prepare the dish the day before you want to serve it).
Preheat the oven to 325°. Uncover the strata and bake for 1 hour, or until the cheese is bubbling and the top few pieces of bread turn golden brown and have some crispy edges.
Slice and serve warm.