This weekend we had some good friends in town, so I invited them and other close friends over for Sunday brunch. Is there any better way to start a Sunday than surrounded with friends, mimosa or coffee in hand, eating donuts as appetizers, while smelling brunch cooking away in the kitchen? It’s a dreamy scenario and I wish every Sunday could start this way.
I wanted to keep brunch casual since we just got home from our Italy trip a couple of days prior. So I requested the brunch to be a potluck brunch. One person was bringing donuts, one another delicious pastry, and another was bringing mimosas. My one job was an egg bake.
I immediately knew I wanted to make this Ham Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata. The recipe was passed onto me from one of my friends who was coming to brunch, and originates from an Epicurious recipe.
I’m not sure why, but I actually had thought leeks were already in the recipe and automatically put leeks on my grocery list. It didn’t occur to me until I was starting to prep for the recipe, that the original recipe didn’t call for leeks. I guess my mind just thought leeks would be delicious in this recipe! Really, when are leeks ever a bad idea?
A few things have been changed from the original recipe. I omitted some oil, reduced the cheese, and added a bit more bread than it called for. I also used a crusty whole grain bread that I got from the bakery. The original recipe calls for sourdough which I’m sure would also be amazing!
This Ham Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata was definitely a hit! The combination of flavors was delicious. From the smoky ham, the tangy goat cheese, the yummy artichokes, and of course, the cheese that tops it all off!
This recipe worked perfectly to prep the night in advance, too. I just assembled all of the ingredients all the way up until the step that you bake it. Then just cover and refrigerate. I always recommend taking the dish out about an hour prior to baking. Or just expect it to take 10-15 minutes longer to bake.
I hope you enjoy this strata recipe as much as we did…it’s definitely going in our regular brunch rotation!
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 large leeks white and light green parts sliced
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk divided
- 9 cups bread cut into 1" cubes (I used whole wheat bakery bread, sourdough and french bread would also work well!)
- 5 large eggs
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- 12 ounces fresh goat cheese crumbled
- 12 ounces cooked ham chopped
- 2 6.5 ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
- 1 cup Fontina cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large skillet melt butter.
- Add leeks and cook over medium heat until very soft, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the milk with the cubed bread. Set aside and let stand until the liquid has absorbed, about 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, sage, and herbs de Provence until well blended.
- You can assemble the strata once the leeks have cooked and the bread has soaked.
- Place half of the bread mixture into the prepared dish.
- Top with half of the leeks, half of the goat cheese, half of the ham, half of the artichoke hearts, and half of the cheese.
- Pour half of the milk/egg/herb mixture over.
- Repeat with remaining layers of bread, leeks, goat cheese, ham artichoke hearts, cheese, and milk/egg mixture.
- If you are going to bake this in the morning, cover and refrigerate.
- If you are baking immediately, place in preheated oven, uncovered, for about 1 hour until the center is firm and the edges are brown.
- If you are going to bake in the morning, I recommend removing it from the refrigerator an hour prior to baking, or just add 10-15 minutes to the baking time.
- Serve and enjoy!