Stratas are like a super-easy kind of quiche, with a layer of bread instead of a crust and topped with veggies, eggs, and cheese. They make a quick-to-throw-together supper, but this one is so pretty and so filled with harvest goodness, it could shine as the centerpiece of your autumn feast. And it couldn’t be faster to make!
Our autumn strata stars butternut squash and onion paired with sharp cheddar: plenty of calcium and omega-3, and a luscious harvest of fall garden taste.
4 slices cracked wheat bread
2 cups peeled and sliced butternut squash
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1. Butter a 9-inch baking dish. Line the dish with the bread.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the squash to the boiling water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Drain, plunge the squash into cold water to stop the cooking, and drain again. Pat dry.
3. Combine the squash, cheese, and butter in a large mixing bowl. Toss to mix. Layer the squash mixture on top of the bread.
4. In a medium-size mixing bowl, beat together the milk, eggs, onion, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne to taste. Pour over the casserole.
5. Refrigerate the strata for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
6. Preheat the oven to 350F.
7. Bake the strata for 40 to 50 minutes, until it is puffed, set, and browned.
8. Let the strata sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Inspired by The Classic Zucchini Cookbook, by Nancy C. Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman (Storey Books, 2002).