Basil Cheese Strata at Hennessey House

Basil Cheese Strata

We had a wonderful stay at the beautiful Hennessey House Bed and Breakfast Inn in the Napa Valley recently. The breakfasts were wonderful, and the lovely cakes, cookies and treats that were always available on the antique sideboard in the dining room were just delicious. One of my favourite dishes from the weekend was Basil Cheese Strata served for breakfast on the Sunday morning.

I also loved how team at Hennessey House presented the fresh fruit appetizer served before the main breakfast course.

Pineapple with Red Wine Reduction
The first morning we enjoyed sliced pineapple with a light and beautiful red wine sauce, followed by Eggs Florentine with fried potatoes. We were also offered delicious banana and chocolate chip muffins.

Grapefruit with Sherry Sauce
The following morning, we began with lightly warmed brown sugar glazed grapefruit with a sherry sauce, followed by the aforementioned Basil Cheese Strata with asparagus, and blueberry muffins. I was a huge fan of grapefruit, but believe me, I am now. And as for Lorri’s Basil Cheese Strata, it is one of the tastiest breakfast dishes I have ever had. The other guests agreed and there were clean plates all round. We were all offered seconds, but the ‘firsts’ had been so generous only one chap accepted – and he cleaned his plate the second time too!

The wonderful thing about this recipe is you make it the night before and refrigerate overnight so that you can cook it the next morning. As you can imagine, Lorri’s recipes are made to serve a number of people, but I don’t think I would be at all upset to have leftovers of this dish. The asparagus served on the side was a wonderful compliment to this delicious dish.

Basil Cheese Strata
Adapted from Morning Food Café Beaujolias
Serves 10 people

Remember, you need to start the night before!

2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion*
1 – 4 ounce can mushrooms*
2 cups grated Swiss cheese (or use a combination of 1 cup grated Swiss cheese and 1 cup grated cheddar)
10 eggs
1½ cups milk
¼ cup pesto
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon white pepper
8 – 10 slices sourdough French bread, crusts removed
(enough to cover the baking dish in two layers)
*Fresh onions and mushrooms are delicious in this recipe. Sauté in olive oil before placing between layers of bread.

You also need one 9 inch x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish.

Spray the Pyrex baking dish with PAM spray (I will have to grease the pan with butter as I can’t get PAM in England) and arrange one layer of French bread in the bottom of the baking dish. It should be a tight fit, all spaces need to be filled by French bread.

Sprinkle the first layer of bread with the cheese and vegetables, alternating layers of cheese and vegetables. Add the second layer of French bread slices.

In an electric mixer, whisk eggs on high speed until frothy (about 5 minutes). Add the milk, pesto, Tabasco sauce and pepper and mix until well blended.

Pour the egg mixture over the bread.

Cover with foil that has been lightly coated with PAM spray and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350℉ (about 175℃). Place the foil covered Pyrex dish in the oven and cook for about 1 hour until puffy and lightly browned. Remove the foil during the last few minutes of baking to brown the top of the bread.

Cut in slices to serve.

Thank you to Lorri at Hennessey House for sharing her recipe! For more of Lorri’s wonderful recipes, please click here.

Disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way for this post.

Linking up with WanderFood Wednesday at Wanderlust and Lipstick

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1281 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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