A brilliant invention. You use up stale bread, get rid of all those odd bits of cheese, and you make a delicious dish all at the same time.
- 1 long loaf French bread , (stale is fine), cut into 1/2-in. slices
- 2 cups shredded cheese , (cheddar, swiss, Monterey jack or a mix)
- 4 green onions , chopped
- 5 eggs , beaten
- 1 tbsp mustard , (Dijon, if you have it)
- 3 cups milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 or 2 tomatoes , sliced
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp butter , cut in bits
- Have your helpful young chef cover the bottom of a well-greased 9 x 13 in. (22 x 33 cm) baking dish with a layer of bread slices. Over this, sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese, then some chopped green onions. Repeat each layer twice, ending with green onion.
- In a bowl, mix together the beaten eggs, the milk, mustard and salt. Pour this business over the dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or (preferably) overnight.
- When you’re ready to cook, remove the plastic, arrange the tomato slices artistically on top, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and dot with butter bits. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 50 to 60 minutes, until puffed in the middle and a knife poked into it comes out clean.
- Meaty cheesy strata: Add some pre-browned, crumbled sausage meat or cooked and crumbled bacon between the layers of the dish.
- Veggie-packed strata: Add a layer of sauted sliced mushrooms, onions, peppers and/or zucchini.
- Fully loaded strata: Go crazy – add both meat and veggies to the dish.