The first time I had this luscious Brie Basil and Tomato Strata was on a sunny July morning at my cousins’ house near Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. It was a beautiful morning, the coffee was hot and fresh, and I was among some of my favourite people in the world.
Things got even better when my cousin Esther brought her Brie Basil and Tomato Strata to the table. She made it with ripe and juicy Ontario tomatoes, homegrown basil and a lovely creamy brie. It was so scrumptious that even though Esther made a double recipe – two full pans – seven of us nearly polished off both of them!
Today Brie Basil and Tomato Strata appears regularly on our table for brunch, especially when I’m entertaining. Having said that, it also makes a great weekday breakfast – especially this time of year. Simply throw the strata together the night before and put it in the fridge. Before you jump in the shower next morning, get the strata out of the fridge while the oven heats up, then pop the strata in and let it cook while the family gets ready for the day. Then sit down to a warming, wholesome breakfast before everyone heads off. There’s nothing like a hot breakfast on a cool autumn or cold winter day.
How to Make Brie Basil and Tomato Strata
Brie Basil and Tomato Strata is so easy to make. You just tumble bread cubes, small chunks of brie and fresh basil leaves into a casserole dish and cover with a gorgeous eggy custard mixture. Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, bring the strata out of the refrigerator for a few minutes before you want to cook it. This should give you enough time to perk and pour some coffee. I always need coffee in the morning. Top the strata with tomatoes. I love the visual effect of using tomato halves on top but if you prefer you can use thick slices of tomatoes instead. Sprinkle the tomatoes with parmesan cheese and put the strata in the oven.
Fresh basil really makes the fresh flavour of this Brie Basil and Tomato Strata pop but if you don’t have fresh basil, you can use a teaspoon of dried basil instead. Just whisk it into the egg and milk mixture with the salt and pepper.
Brie Basil and Tomato Strata has become one of our favourite breakfast and brunch dishes. It also makes a delicious light lunch or supper served with a side salad. I love it when something this delicious is so easy too!
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium loaf of Italian or French bread, cubed
- (enough to fill a 13 x 9 inch baking pan)
- about 1 cup Brie, chopped into small pieces
- a handful of fresh basil leaves (stems removed)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 6 medium tomatoes (Roma variety if possible)
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Remember to start this recipe the night before you want to serve it.
- Lightly butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
- Beat together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the bread cubes, pieces of Brie and the basil leaves.
- Pour carefully into the baking dish.
- Pour the eggy mixture over the top of the bread and cheese. Press the bread down lightly to encourage the bread to take up the eggy mixture.
- Cover the casserole dish and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove the strata from the oven for a few minutes before you want to cook it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Halve or slice the tomatoes and arrange over top of the strata mixture.
- Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the strata becomes browned and bubbly.
- Serve hot.