The complete easy all vegetarian holiday brunch

By • November 22, 2011 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: On a quest for a simple yet sublime brunch for the holidays I have decided that this is it for me. I hope you like it as well. It consists of a hot, savory, tangy vegetarian cheese strata with its companion chilled fresh fruit slaw. You can make this ahead for easy, gracious entertaining, but it is best to time the baking so the strata can be served hot and fluffy from the oven for your guests. Sagegreen

Serves 4-6

Fruit slaw

  • 1 cup matchstick-style sliced firm mango
  • 1 cup matchstick-style sliced and peeled crisp Asian pear
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 or 2 tbl. Domaine de Canton, to taste...and maybe half a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup chiffonade of fresh spearmint
  1. Toss the sliced mango and pear matchsticks gently together so they are evenly mixed. If you like add a tiny pinch of coarse salt. Pour over the lime juice to coat the skin of the fruit matchsticks. Let this sit for at least 10 minutes. As a variation you could sneak in some fresh grated ginger, about half a teaspoon.
  2. Add the Domaine ginger liqueur. Keep chilled until serving.Gently toss in the fresh mint leaves you have rolled and snipped just before serving.

Perfect strata

  • 3 cups of stale cubed challah bread
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced yellow onion, to caramelize nicely in butter
  • pinch of your favorite salt
  • a few tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 farm fresh eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of great quality half and half (or your own cream and milk mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tbl. Dijon mustard
  • 4 oz. of goat cheese, chevre
  • pinch of fresh grated nutmeg and fresh cracked pepper
  • a few tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. Air your stale challah cubes for a few hours to dry out the pieces further. If your challah is not stale, then you can lightly heat the cubes in the oven for about 5 minutes. Dry them out without browning and cool completely, if you must heat them.
  2. Add the salt to the onion slices. Heat a few tablespoons of butter in your pan and then slowly caramelize the thin onion slices. Cook until perfectly caramelized to a lovely brown color and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350. Whisk the eggs with the half and half, buttermilk, and mustard until smooth. For a variation, you can add 1- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (such as Italian parsley and dill) into the whisked liquid.
  4. In a lightly buttered baking dish (@13") add the bread cubes. Fold in the caramelized onions. Break up the chevre into half teaspoon-sized pieces and dot the strata with it. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the bread-onion-chevre.
  5. Top with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, coarse salt to taste, and pepper. If you are caraway fans, you could add a sprinkle on top for a variation. Bake until all rises to a rich, souffle-like golden brown, about 40 minutes.
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Birthday_2012

almost 2 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Sagegreen,
Finally had the opportunity of making this dish for a brunch gathering for Food52 Volume 2! Liz Larkin (Mrs. Larkin, the Scone Lady) came with her Butternut Sage Scones. Your dish was delicious! It is lighter than most stratas and the browned onions provide a great flavor note. I added some scallions, as per your optional suggestion to use some fresh herbs. Didn't quite get to the fruit on the side... next time, luv the idea! Thanks. :))

Bike2

almost 2 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks so much! It sounds like a wonderful time!

Birthday_2012

almost 3 years ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Saving this, I love the contrasting slaw since strata can be a little heavy ...

Bike2

almost 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, luvcookbooks. Folks love the slaw and the strata is not as heavy as many recipes.

Cakes

about 3 years ago Bevi

How heavenly. This meal sounds good any time of day to me.

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, Bevi!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow, your method is so seductively descriptive. I'm hanging on its every word. So glad you're healthy and back with us. We've missed you! Have a lovely holiday.

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks kindly, b! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, too.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Sounds fantastic, love the title!! The fruit slaw with this is brilliant.

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, sdebrango. I wasn't sure what else to call this. Happy Thanksgiving with all your company coming!!

Sausage2

about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Sounds like an absolutely lovely meal!

Bike2

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks so much, fiveandspice. Happy Thanksgiving!