Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tomato Strata

This is ONE day's worth of garden goods :)
Are you drowning in tomatoes?  We are.  All summer long, our tomatoes did better than all the other things in our garden.  Specifically, the cherry/grape tomatoes have been so plentiful that we've been giving them away, eating them as snacks, and still having way too many.  I am not complaining: I love tomatoes, and when they are from your own garden, they are so much more amazing.  I swear the cherry tomatoes are sweet enough to be considered a dessert.
As Mark calls it: "The Garden of Kim!"

But anyway, the point is, I have spent a lot of time searching for recipes to use them up in a non-boring way.  Since I love breakfast, I came up with the idea to make a cherry tomato strata; this was helped along by the fact that I had a huge, gorgeous loaf of green onion focaccia from Rose32 that I'd rather die than waste.

I didn't find too many recipes that call specifically for cherry tomatoes - many actually call for thin slices of big tomatoes and I wasn't sure the little guys would be able to substitute - but this recipe (randomly from the Lansing State Journal... AKA the 12th page of my Google search!) called for 4 cups of chopped tomatoes, and I figured I could just halve my tomatoes and consider them chopped.  Lots of the recipes called for things like broccoli or kale or basil (or meat, for that matter) but this one just called for things that I had, and since it was early on a Saturday morning, this was the one I went for.

The tomatoes and onions get roasted in a skillet for 10 minutes, which makes them even sweeter and more tender than they already are.  Then you scatter your bread cubes in the pan, pour eggs and milk on top, add your tomato onion mixture, and top with some freshly grated cheddar.  That's it!  So as far as breakfasts go, it's pretty easy to whip it up.  Waiting the 40 minutes was the hardest part.

In the end, it was absolutely amazing.  The scallion bread added another layer of flavor, but those sweet little tomatoes and onions were fabulous all on their own.  The strata was silky, smooth, filling and delicious.  I was thrilled to pack a Tupperware of it every morning for breakfast, and I ate it once I got to work for about a week straight.  Strangely, I found out that my whole family no longer likes eggs. Mark all of a sudden hates them, Rachael claims that she's repulsed by their texture lately, and Kenz has never been a big fan.  My mom did have one serving, but isn't one for anything other than her cereal for breakfast.  Ah well, all the more for me!


tomato strata
from The Lansing State Journal
yield 8 servings
per serving: 210 calories, 10.5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat,


1 loaf dry or day-old bread, cut roughly into bite-sized pieces
1 12-ounce can tomatoes, either crushed or peeled whole, or roughly 4 cups chopped raw tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion or 1 large leek, cleaned
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese such as Swiss or sharp cheddar
salt and pepper to taste


1) Lightly grease a 9x13-inch rectangular pan or a 1.5-quart oven-proof dish.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) Peel and chop the onion or the leek.  Pour the tomatoes into a large skillet and add the onion or leek, cooking over medium heat until the juices have reduced by about half.  This step sweetens the tomatoes and simply requires occasional stirring to prevent burning.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Once you are done, remove the pan from the heat.

3) Crack 6 eggs into a medium bowl and, using a fork, lightly whisk in the cup of milk.

4) Scatter cubes of bread evenly in pan.  Using a spoon or spatula, evenly distribute the tomato mixture on top.  Gently pour the egg mixture on top; then sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.

5) Bake the casserole for 25-40 minutes or until the center is set and the top is brown and crackly.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

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