PHOTO BY KATIE NOBLE / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY
Strata, basically a savory bread pudding, is a perfect quick, clean-out-the-fridge dinner that doesn’t quite feel like one. This hearty vegetarian version combines eggs and chunks of crusty bread with feta, mushrooms and chard. But the variations are endless. Use the veggies you have on hand and add prosciutto, ham or bacon for a meaty version.
1¼ cups milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces baby portabella or other firm mushrooms, cut in 1-inch chunks
½ bunch Swiss chard, large stems removed and roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
½ baguette or other crusty bread, cut or torn in 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
½ cup feta, crumbled
½ cup Gruyère, shredded
Heat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper (to taste) until thoroughly combined. Add oregano, shallot, garlic and pepper flakes.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chard and cook until it releases its liquid and reduces by about half, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Add bread, feta and egg mixture. Stir and top with Gruyère.
Transfer to the oven and bake until the center of the strata is puffed and browned, about 20 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature—also makes a wonderful brunch dish at the holidays.
Michael Floreak is a food writer who lives and often eats in Cambridge. His interviews with authors, chefs, writers, food policy experts and other characters from the food world have appeared regularly in the Boston Globe and To Market magazine. Michael holds a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and recently completed a Master’s of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy from Boston University. In addition to writing about food, Michael works as a brand strategist and writer. You reach him by email at Michael.Floreak@gmail.com or follow on Twitter: @floreak.