Chard and asiago strata

September 5, 2009 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

chard and asiago strata

In addition to muffins and scones, egg stratas are a big part of our weekend breakfast menu. I’ve written about this before, but after enjoying a new recipe today, I thought it would be worth revisiting. Strata, in my opinion, is one of the foods that actually tastes BETTER made with gluten-free ingredients – rice bread makes the dish much softer and fluffier than a wheat-based bread.

Rainbow chard and swiss chard are growing in our garden for the first time this year. Enjoying a steady supply of fresh chard has been one of the highlights of the summer for me. I’ve discovered that chard plus asiago is one of food’s perfect pairings. It’s a taste combination that says earthy, homegrown, and sophisticated gourmet all at the same time.

And if I had to describe a taste that describes the new ethos of food I see on so many of my favourite food blogs – local, homegrown and seasonal ingredients, artisan cheeses, free-range eggs, organic dairy and grains, gluten-free cooking – an egg strata with chard and asiago would be a pretty good way to do it.

Chard and asiago strata
Butter for greasing the pan
6 eggs
2-1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup very finely diced onion
1/4 cup flax seeds
Salt and fresh ground pepper
6-8 slices of brown rice bread
2 cups of chopped swiss and / or rainbow chard
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

Generously grease a good sized casserole dish. Crack 6 eggs into the casserole dish and beat gently with a whisk while adding in the milk. Add in a sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper and stir in the onion and flax seeds. Break the bread into chunks and add it to the egg mixture. Start with the smallest amount of bread first. You don’t want to add too much bread or the dish will be dry instead of baking into a moist, puffy souffle-like concoction. Having a 1:1 ratio of the bread to the milk-egg mixture is best.

Stir all this together and then put it in the fridge overnight or at least for a few hours. It takes only five minutes of preparation to get it to this stage, so try to do it the night before – five minutes is nothing, and it really makes it taste better to have everything soaking together for all that time.

In the morning when you’re ready to bake, turn the oven on and put the dish right in the oven while it preheats to 375F. This will get it started while you’re chopping up the chard and cheese, and you’ll get to eat it 10 minutes sooner! Also, it’s better to add in the chard a bit later so it doesn’t overcook.

Once the dish has been in the oven about 15 minutes, pull it out and use a spoon or spatula to tuck in the chard. Don’t worry about messing it up if it’s already started to set; it will be fine. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put it all back into cook for about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it starts to smell heavenly and also when it is all puffy and golden. Keep an eye on it toward the end of cooking to make sure the cheese doesn’t brown too much on top. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. It’s wonderful with fresh fruit and even better with fresh fruit and fresh cinnamon rolls.

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Entry filed under: Cooking, Gluten Free, Home, Kitchen garden, Life, Local food, Making. Tags: , , , , .

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