The start of spring in Minnesota can only mean one thing. Okay, two. For one, we can cross our fingers and hope the nicer weather is here to stay! I suppose we shouldn’t hold our breath, though, considering we had snow last week. Secondly, I consider spring brunch season. There’s Easter brunch, of course, and then it seems that a bulk of wedding and baby showers are in the spring, most of which inevitably involve brunch.
So with brunch season upon us, I think we all need a new solid egg bake recipe to get us through. I’m a huge fan of stratas, which are made of chunks of bread (a perfect use for stale bread!), eggs, and milk. Topped with a big handful of shredded cheese and you’re on your way to a pretty tasty brunch.
The great thing about stratas, like many egg dishes, is they are very adaptable to preferences of meat, veggies, and cheese. I recently made a vegetarian Mushroom, Spinach, and Havarti Strata which proves that a tasty strata does not need to have meat.
Howevvvvver, I have to say the bacon in this strata is pretty dang delicious. It also allows for this recipe to be really simple and have a super short ingredient list, all the while, being full of flavor. We can thank the bacon and leeks for that.
I used Gruyere cheese in this strata because that’s what I had on hand, and you can do the same! Use whatever leftover bag or block of cheese you have laying around. I think cheddar, havarti, fontina, or even feta and goat cheese if you’re feeling like a tangier cheese.
Another great reason to make a strata is to use up a loaf of stale bread. I used a hearty whole grain loaf that I had sitting around for a few days, and while I loved the little seeds and chewy crust bits in every few bites, any sort of french or sandwich bread would work well, too.
So whether you’re hosting Easter brunch, need a dish to bring to a baby shower brunch, or just have a leftover stale loaf of bread begging to be used, give this strata a a shot. It is nothing short of amazing.
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