Don’t let this monochromatic dish fool you. While it has very little color it DOES NOT have very little taste. Trust me on this one. Better yet, make it and see for yourself! It is full of delicious leeks and tender artichokes. Then there’s the feta, Gruyere, and mozzarella cheeses. Oh yeah, baby. Three kinds of cheese in this fabulously easy strata.
What? You don’t know what a strata is? Let me skool ya!!
Traditionally, a strata was bread layered with cheese and ingredients soaked in a custard (savory mind you) mixture. Then it was allowed to rest so the bread can soak up the custard and baked until perfection. Lately, it’s more kin to a savory bread pudding, but when you bread pudding you think dessert. So, most people are lumping it in with the strata, but technically, strata is derived from the work stratum which means one of usually many layers of a substance.
Okay, enough educating for the day! Back to delicious food!
I’ve been on a leek kick lately. I’m not sure why. It all started with the Creamy Chicken Pasta with Leeks and Mushrooms. From there it just sort of snow balled. I planned a potato leek soup with ham, which is yet to come. So, I made a potato leek pizza instead. That recipe should be up in a few weeks. And this week I’m making a leek and mushroom carbonara. So, I’ve gone a little leek crazy!
And who wouldn’t? Honestly! They are in the same family as garlic and onions, but just have a hint of onion flavor. Their flavor is very subtle and will not over power the remaining elements in your dish, but will elevate it to another level. And leeks are surprisingly healthy for you! Since they are in the allium family, they have many of the same properties as onions and garlic. And we all know how heart healthy those are!
Yeah, this last picture is kind of weird. It was a bit lumpy when I pulled it out of the pan, but it tasted amazing! I honestly hated to throw any of it out. This was the first time I didn’t have dry spots in my strata. You really do have to let it set at least 30 minutes or overnight before baking. It makes a WORLD of difference!! Unless you like the bread to be a bit more like bread than pudding, then just soak it 15 or so. I wanted to spend the time to soak the bread to see what difference.
Do you call it strata? Or do you call it savory bread pudding? What’s your favorite strata?
Artichoke Leek Strata
By A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- 8 ounces cubed, day old bread
- 14 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 3 1/2 ounces fat free feta cheese
- 1 cup fat free mozzarella
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups egg substitute
- Preheat oven to 375.
- In a large bowl, combine the bread with the artichoke hearts, leeks and feta cheese. Set aside.
- Combine the oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, milk, and egg substitute in a small bowl.
- Pour the milk mixture over the bread mixture; stirring well to combine. Let stand for 20 minutes.
- Pour half of the bread mixture into a 13 x 9 casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and half of the Gruyere. Top with remaining bread mixture and remaining cheese.
- Bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until browned and the cheese is bubbly. Cool slightly before serving.