Saturday, September 15, 2012


I feel silly even listing this as a recipe, because it's so versatile and you can use almost anything in it.  Leftover bacon?  Sure.  Different veggies?  You bet.*  Sourdough bread?  Go for it.  Vegetarian?  Leave out the meat.  Here's the recipe that I created to use leftover italian sausage.  

Best part of this recipe?  If you're using leftovers, it goes together in about 15 minutes the night before, and then bakes in about 45 minutes the next day.  Perfect for a weeknight.

Leftover Strata

about 6 cups cubed bakery bread (I used about 1/2 loaf of challah)
3 cooked italian sausage, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp butter
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
optional: 1/2 c mushrooms, sliced
1 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar, you could use gruyere, monterey jack, or swiss)
6 eggs, scrambled

Grease an 8X8 glass dish.

In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes and the majority of the cheese.

Let's be honest - this could be a meal in and of itself

In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the pepper and onion (and mushroom, if using) for about 10 minutes, or until soft.  In the last minute or so, add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Add the sausage.  

Toss the vegetables and sausage in with the bread cubes and cheese, and transfer to the baking dish. 

Pour the egg mixture over the bread, and top with the remaining cheese.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Ready and set for tomorrow's dinner!

About 45 minutes before you are ready to cook, remove from the fridge and let come to room temp.  (This isn't 100% necessary, but it makes the cooking much more even.  If you can't do this, figure the cooking time will be slightly longer).  When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 and cook for about 30 minutes, until the edges are browned and the egg is set in the center.  

Again, imagine it cooked.  There was some serious melting down in the Murphy household, and I forgot to take a picture.  Instead have a picture of Lea in her new ballet stuff.
It was very handy to have this dinner to throw in the oven when we got home from dance class.

*really, anything.  You could add fresh tomatoes, leftover asparagus, jarred artichoke hearts, peas, broccoli, whatever floats your boat.  This is a good recipe to play around with.

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