What’s better than staying in on New Year’s Day? With a little planning, you can use the quiet hours during the afternoon on New Year’s Eve to prep a delicious brunch. Come January 1st, all you’ll need to do it lounge on the sofa and contemplate your resolutions.
Enter: This genius breakfast strata.
A strata is an egg casserole made with generous amounts of bread. The bread soaks up the eggs, and the entire dish bakes up into a moist, savory delight. You can add cheese, meats, herbs, or any of your other favorite breakfast flavors.
For our version, you’ll need eggs, half and half, cauliflower, onion, butter, cream cheese, Swiss cheese, and some spices. If you have leftover bread or rolls around, use them. If not, be sure to stock up before New Year’s Eve day.
Before you go out on New Year’s Eve, tear up the bread or rolls. No need to be precise about this step, uneven chunks are totally fine.
Spoon big scoops of cream cheese on top of the bread. The dollops will melt into creamy centers when the strata cooks. To balance out the richness of the cream cheese, layer on the savory caramelized onions and cooked cauliflower.
Finally, douse the bread base with a mixture of eggs, milk, seasonings, and cheese. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Storing this dish overnight will actually improve the final product. The rest gives the egg mixture time to thoroughly saturate every morsel of the bread, guaranteeing a custardy final dish.
Come the next morning, all you have to do is pop the strata in the oven.
After 45 minutes in the oven, the cheese will melt and the vegetables will develop a deep caramelized flavor. The bread, like a pudding, puffs up and then sinks again.
Allow the dish to cool slightly, then cut into wedges, garnish with scallions, and serve to any friends who ended up sleeping in your living room.
Keep reading for the recipe!
Make-Ahead Cauliflower Breakfast Strata
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup of shredded Jarlsberg
5 dinner rolls (onion, Kaiser ect.)
8 ounces cream cheese
3 ounces butter (plus more for greasing)
10 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon chopped scallions (light and dark green parts only)
2 teaspoons cry mustard
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Core and cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the onions. Mince the chives. Tear the rolls into bite sized pieces. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Brown the onions: In a large pan over medium heat, heat 2 teaspoons of oil until hot. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onions are soft and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the onions to a plate and wipe out pan.
Sauté the cauliflower: In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 teaspoons olive oil until hot. Add just enough cauliflower to cover the bottom of the pan and cook stirring occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes until the cauliflower has softened and browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cauliflower to the same plate as the onions and repeat with remaining cauliflower.
Now, mix the liquid ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, minced chives, dry mustard, chipotle pepper and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Build the omelet: In the greased baking pan, add the torn rolls to cover the bottom of the pan. Cut up cream cheese into small pieces and wedge between the rolls. Layer the caramelized onions and cauliflower over top then pour in the egg mixture. Scatter with the Jarlsberg then cover with pats of the remaining butter.
Rest the omelet overnight OR Bake the omelet: At this point you should ideally wrap the casserole in foil and refrigerate it overnight. Whenever you’re ready to eat, simply bake at 350°F, covered, for 45 minutes.Remove foil and continue for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.