My Recipe Box

Summer Vegetable Strata


Serves four to six.

Be sure to brown the squash for the best flavor.

  • About a dozen 1/2-inch-thick slices French or Italian bread (enough to cover the bottom of your pan), day-old or lightly toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups milk or a mixture of milk and cream
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
  • Pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 loosely packed cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium summer squash or zucchini, or 1 of each
  • 2 ripe tomatoes

Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter an 8x8-inch baking dish. Rub the top of each slice of bread with the garlic clove. Lay the slices in the dish in one layer, cutting them into pieces where necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Measure the milk in a 1-qt. measure, preferably one with a spout. (Or measure it and transfer it to a bowl.) Add the eggs, half of the cheese, the red pepper flakes, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously to beat the eggs and to combine. Add the basil and stir gently. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium high. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and colors lightly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the squash, cut them lengthwise into quarters and, holding the quarters together, slice them into pieces about 1/3 inch thick. Stir the squash into the onion, spread in a single layer, and let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning; check before you turn them.

Meanwhile, halve and seed the tomatoes and chop the flesh coarsely. When the squash is lightly browned on both sides and crisp-tender, add the tomatoes, stir to toss, and take the vegetables off the heat.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to the dish, spreading them evenly over the bread. Give the milk and egg mixture a stir and gently pour it all into the dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the milk and egg mixture sets, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes, slice into squares with the edge of a spatula, and use the spatula to lift out the pieces.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings, Calories (kcal): 350, Fat (kcal): 16, Fat Calories (g): 140, Saturated Fat (g): 6, Protein (g): 17, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7, Carbohydrates (mg): 35, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 650, Cholesterol (g): 195, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Pretty much followed the recipe. Really good. My husband loved it. Could see this at brunch with fruit or as a side dish with some grilled meat or fish. I had veg from the farmers market, but think I'll still be making it after that's no longer an option.

Made this out of season but decided it was fate when I had 12 leftover baguette slices! This was so delicious not sure if using available ingredients made it way better so I'll try it again as written. I used arugula instead of basil and 6 ounces of drained petite diced fire roasted tomatoes. Made it for the 2 of us and it was delicious the next day too.

This recipe was simple and tasty. Absolutley delicious, make sure to brown the zucchini thoroughly.

Great flavor, excellent way to use fresh veggies that are abundant now. Many steps to make it, but a hit with the whole family. I minced the garlic and browned with onion rather than just rubbing the bread with it. Excellent for a big lunch or light dinner.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More