by Robert Booz

Strata (or bread pudding) is a “kitchen sink” dish for brunch, lunch, or dinner. It’s a great way to throw something together with just about anything on hand, from fresh vegetables to canned goods to leftovers.


  • 1 1/2 cups milk, cream, crème fraîche, or some combination thereof (if you are using just milk, make sure it's at least 2%)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 cups bread, cut into one-inch cubes (I like to use a country-style bread, or baguette, but anything really works. If it's stale, all the better.)
  • Nutmeg, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil or butter for the pan
  • As much as 3 to 4 cups of the following (in combination)
  • Herbs, spices, cheese, mustard,
  • Cook or uncooked vegetables (everything from fresh, thinly sliced carrots to canned tomatoes),
  • Cooked meats (especially sausage, bacon or ham),
  • Whatever else you can think of
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup wilted spinach
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced and sauteed

Elizabeth Cecil

In a small bowl whisk together your eggs and dairy; add a pinch of nutmeg, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. This mixture should be on the salty side, let’s say a scant tablespoon. Pour over the bread cubes in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight. If you are going to let it sit for a while, refrigerate it.

Preheat your oven to 350° F.

Mix in your other ingredients with the bread and custard. Pour it out into a well-greased baking dish and press it in lightly. Bake this in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dish has a golden brown crust on top.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings