KITCHEN SCOOP: Goat cheese & red pepper strata

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An egg strata is perfect for weekend guests or for an entertaining brunch. But I have all but left them out of weeknight dinner possibilities. And it’s been a terrible oversight. Eggs for dinner are a delicious protein option.

While preparing a strata ahead and storing in the refrigerator until ready to bake the next day is an obvious benefit, do-ahead work is not necessary to the final delicious egg casserole.

Today’s recipe is smaller casserole than a traditional strata, feeding four generously instead of the 8 to 10 my other recipes do. The leftovers, if you are feeding less than four, are delicious re-warmed with a small salad of greens or fruit. But it’s not so much that you feel like you are eating remains for weeks on end.

The rich flavors of red pepper and goat cheese are perfect any time of day; so don’t delay another moment to enjoy this wonderfully simple and elegant main dish whether it is morning, noon or night.

Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Strata

4 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces (about 2 cups) hearty whole wheat bread or baguette, cut in 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spray a small shallow (6 x 10 x 1.5 inch – 1.5 quart capacity) casserole dish with nonstick cooking oil spray. In a medium bowl beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add the bread and toss until well coated. Pour into prepared casserole. Set aside.

3. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and red pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add herbs and toss well. Spread vegetables over the egg and bread mixture. Dot with cheese. Bake until top is puffed and light golden brown and center is firm, about 25 minutes.

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