Having put a few brunch invites out there recently, I’ve been looking for savoury recipes that pair well with sides like fresh fruit salad and sweet scones. And egg dishes, like Chatelaine’s Baked 3-cheese tomato strata, are favourites in my kitchen because they require little work once they hit the oven – one of my brunch-hosting requirements. Plus, it calls for three kinds of cheese, so it was already winning in my books
Rather than using slices or cubes of bread as a basis for the strata, this recipe is baked right in a bread shell (no pan to scrub!). To make the bread boat you simply cut the middle out of a calabrese loaf (make sure to leave about an inch all around the loaf, and don’t cut the bottom), and scoop out enough bread to make a decent-sized hole for the egg mixture to bake in. Then you separate the six eggs, whisk the yolks with cream, Dijon, and salt, add the cheddar, chives (I used fresh chives from my garden!), and sun dried tomatoes. Beat the egg whites next, until soft peaks form, and stir ¼ of the egg white foam into the yolk mixture. Next, fold the remaining egg whites into the yolks just until mixed (Tip: Folding is best left to a grown-up – the mini is far too enthusiastic with a spoon for this step.)
I used a ladle to put the egg mixture into the hollowed out bread shell, which helped get it as even as possible. Dot the top of the egg mix with the goat cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan on (I used both liberally), and then in the oven it goes. The grape tomatoes (which have been tossed with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet) are baked at the same time – just watch them carefully so they don’t burn. The tomatoes were ready about 10 minutes before the strata, so I covered them with foil to keep them warm.
Once the strata cools for about 5 minutes, you cut it into thick slices and top each slice with the baked tomatoes. And voila, brunch! The only disclaimer I have on this recipe is that the bread’s crust gets well, (very) crusty, with baking. Which can make it tough (particularly for wee ones) to cut and eat. But sharp knives prevailed, and we served the strata with a fresh berry salad (courtesy of our brunch guests), and sweet scones. Everyone left with a full belly, so I’m declaring this recipe a success!
Try this recipe: Baked 3-cheese tomato strata