It’s the start of November, everybody!
And you should know that I am an absolute Holiday Junkie, so get ready for a non-stop Holiday recipe onslaught for the next 8 weeks. I’m sorry if you are one of the scroogey types who thinks that any tinsel hanging around before December is verboten, but I LOVE IT!
And I will not be deterred! As far as I’m concerned 8 weeks is nowhere near enough Holiday season for me, but I will make do. So let me start at the beginning – breakfast.
This is a breakfast strata – you might have heard of it? Maybe not? Either way, strata means layers. And more specifically, in this case, it refers to layers of stale bread soaked in a bath of eggs, three cheeses, and green onions/scallions/spring onions/whatever you call ’em.
The bread soaks up this eggy, cheesey, intensely savoury mix and then the whole thing bakes in the oven for about 30 minutes, emerging puffed and burnished from the oven. In terms of taste, think of this as halfway between a grilled cheese sandwich and a cheese omelet. Isn’t that a nice place to be first thing in the morning?
This recipe is perfect for the Holidays, it’s decadent, it can be easily doubled or tripled to feed more, and it can be completely assembled the night before – all you need to do is stumble out of bed and shove it into the oven. It’s perfect for brunch for a crowd, perfect for potlucks, and perfect to feed the kidlets, because who’s kid doesn’t like bread and cheese?
Are you excited as excited as I am about the Holidays?
Triple Cheese and Onion Strata
This recipe is adapted very slightly from the recipe in Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Christmas (Chatto & Windus, 2008). It is a very special book to me, and one that I get out every year and read from cover to cover. Her writing and recipes are a true inspiration to me, and I very much recommend getting yourself a copy!
1/2 stale baguette
25g (1 oz) parmesan cheese
50g (2 oz) mozarella cheese
100g (4oz) cheddar cheese
4 spring onions
65ml (1/4 cup) milk
Slice the baguette into 1 cm pieces, and arrange these in a small pie dish. Place the remaining ingredients, along with a good grinding of cracked pepper into the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture is almost smooth. Pour the eggy-cheesey mix over the stale bread and cover with cling wrap. At this point, the strata needs to be left to soak for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight. When you are ready to cook the strata, preheat the oven to 180C, and bring it out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Bake the strata for 20 minutes, or until puffed up and golden brown, before serving. Delish!