foodie: birthday egg strata

craig's birthday was last friday, so for saturday morning breakfast, i thought it would be nice to have a yummy, home cooked meal.  craig adores anything will eggs for his morning meal, so i decided to make a strata (i.e. an egg casserole with veggies and cheese).  the great thing about a strata is that you can make it a day or two in advance and then just reheat it the morning of!

here's what you'll need...

1 loaf of bread (i used rosemary focaccia)
8-10 eggs
1 cup shredded cheese (i used an italian blend, but something sharp like swiss, gruyere or cheddar would work well too)
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 zucchini
1 packet knorr bearnaise sauce, prepared with heavy cream
2 tbsp rosemary and thyme, chopped
salt & pepper
olive oil

preheat oven to 375.

1. chop and saute veggies in olive oil until tender and lightly caramelized.  season with salt and pepper.

2. roughly tear bread into 1 inch cubes and put 1/2 into a buttered casserole dish.

3. top with veggies and 1/2 of cheese, and then add in the remainder of the bread.

4. mix eggs with bearnaise and chopped herbs and pour over bread mixture.  press bread with the back of a wooden spoon to make sure it soaks up the egg mixture well.

5. top strata with remainder of cheese, a few more herbs and salt & pepper.

6. bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and bubbly.

if you're making the strata in advance, allow to cool completely and then cover and put in the fridge.  to reheat, put in oven on 275-300 degrees for approximately 1 hour.

as you can see, this recipe lends itself to improvisation - so have fun with it and make it your own.

bon appetit!