After sixteen years of eating only plants, this vegan (me) recently started eating eggs…well not the whole egg… at least not yet, just the “whites” part. I needed to diversify my protein sources as my normal plant-based go-tos for protein; edamame, tempeh and tofu were all of a sudden not making me feel well, at all. Egg whites are a clean protein.
For my family, I wanted to create an egg dish recipe that we all could eat for breakfast and that could be made the night before because mornings are always crazy here at “The Drake”. This year for Easter, I wanted to be ready with something delicious and savory. Hello, brunch strata.
Don’t let the length of the recipe overwhelm you. If you can make toast, sauté veggies, and whisk eggs, you’ll ACE brunch strata.
Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomato Egg Strata
makes one 8″x8″ baking dish
8 slices gluten-free bread
5 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 teaspoons rosemary, fresh & minced
1 cup artichoke hearts, quartered and patted dry with paper towel
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienne
1/2 cup white wine
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
7 ounces plant-based monterey jack and cheddar cheese shreds mix
9 egg whites (or 6 whole eggs)
1 3/4 cup plant-based milk, unsweetened
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 225 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position.
Arrange bread directly on the rack and bake until dry and crisp about 30 minutes.
Let cool and butter one side of each with 2 tablespoons of buttery spread and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of buttery spread in a medium sauté pan.
Sauté shallots until translucent then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh minced rosemary and sauté for one minute more.
Add artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes and wine and sauté.
Stir in sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and sauté a few minutes longer to evaporate as much water as possible from the vegetables.
Remove pan from the heat and set aside.
LAYER & WHISK
Butter an 8″X8″ baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of buttery spread.
Place four pieces of toast, buttered side up in a single layer in the dish.
Sprinkle half of the sauté mixture and then 1/3 of the cheese over the toast slices.
Place the remaining pieces of toast in a single layer over the cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining sauté mixture, then another 1/3 of the cheese evenly over the bread.
Whisk egg whites/eggs, plant-based milk, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined.
Pour egg mixture evenly over the toast, sauté, and cheese layers.
REST & REFRIGERATE
Cover the surface of the baking dish with plastic wrap and weight the top with bags of grains like rice or quinoa.
Refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
Remove dish from refrigerator at least 20 minutes before baking so it warms to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position.
Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining 1/3 of cheese evenly over the top.
Bake until edges and center are firm, about 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of minced rosemary, slice with a serrated knife and serve.
Buy good eggs, free-range and organic at least, pasture raised, organic and local, is best.
Experiment with different vegetable and herb combinations in the sauté.
Less is more when it comes to adding produce, too many veggies will make the dish wet and soggy.
Keep the sauté simple and keep it as dry as possible.