Make Ahead

The complete easy all vegetarian holiday brunch - Meatless Brunch Ideas

November 22, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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. Fruit slaw
  2. 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.
  3. Add the Domaine ginger liqueur. Keep chilled until serving.Gently toss in the fresh mint leaves you have rolled and snipped just before serving.
  1. Perfect strata
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • Bevi
  • boulangere
  • fiveandspice
  • Sagegreen

10 Reviews

luvcookbooks January 14, 2013
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. :))
Sagegreen January 14, 2013
Thanks so much! It sounds like a wonderful time!
luvcookbooks December 28, 2011
Saving this, I love the contrasting slaw since strata can be a little heavy ...
Sagegreen December 28, 2011
Thanks, luvcookbooks. Folks love the slaw and the strata is not as heavy as many recipes.
Bevi November 26, 2011
How heavenly. This meal sounds good any time of day to me.
Sagegreen November 30, 2011
Thanks, Bevi!
boulangere November 23, 2011
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.
Sagegreen November 25, 2011
Thanks kindly, b! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, too.
fiveandspice November 22, 2011
Sounds like an absolutely lovely meal!
Sagegreen November 22, 2011
Thanks so much, fiveandspice. Happy Thanksgiving!