Recipe Review: Cooking Light's Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata
I love artichokes. I love goat cheese. I love stratas. So when I saw the Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata recipe in the March 2011 issue of Cooking Light, I immediately put it on my list for dinner in the coming week. Although this strata was perfect for dinner with a salad (I am a huge fan of "breakfast for dinner"), it would be great for breakfast or brunch, especially for a crowd. I made this (and another variation) for a bridal shower brunch and it was a huge hit - who doesn't love cheese, eggs, and bread? It reheats beautifully, and is so versatile - add sauteed mushrooms or spinach, switch out the goat cheese for some cheddar or feta, etc. It's not heavy or overly eggy - and although I used ciabatta, this would be equally delicious with a whole wheat or whole grain bread.
I've made a few slight changes, but the variations on this are endless - use whatever cheese/vegetables you like.
Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about one large)
- 1 (10-12 oz) bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 tsp dried herbes de Provence
- 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz (1/2 of a 1lb loaf) of ciabatta, cut into 1 inch cubes
- cooking spray
- 3/4 cup (3 oz) goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- Tabasco (optional)
- Heat a large nonstick (I use a regular stainless pan) skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in artichoke hearts and garlic; cook for 8 minutes or until artichoke hearts begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and stir in herbes de Provence. Cool 10 minutes.
- Whisk together the milk, black pepper, salt, and eggs in a large bowl. Add bread and Parmesan cheese; toss gently to combine. Stir in artichoke mixture, and let stand for a minimum of 20 minutes - I let mine stand overnight in the fridge. Be sure to refrigerate the mixture if you'll be storing it for more than 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Spoon half of bread mixture into an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with half of goat cheese and half of cheddar, and top with remaining bread mixture. Sprinkle remaining half of goat cheese and cheddar over top. Bake at 375° for 40-50 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serve with Tabasco, if you like things a bit spicy.
Nutritional Info (for my version):
Calories: 249; Fat: 11g; Cholesterol: 148mg; Sodium: 465mg; Carbs: 22; Sugar: 4g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 16g
Don't be afraid to experiment with this recipe - it's pretty foolproof. I made it with spinach, mushrooms, and feta and it was delicious - any veggie or cheese will work. Serve with a salad for a light dinner.