Like all strata, this one can be assembled the night before. All you need to do before serving is sprinkle on the final cup of cheese and bake. It’s a good one to choose when you know you won’t be up to chopping and mixing first thing in the morning.
Serves 6 to 8
Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
8 ounces bacon, chopped
1 red onion, diced
1 head broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch florets
3/4 cup marinated sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
8 eggs, at room temperature
3 cups whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
6 cups diced rustic bread, from about 1/2 loaf
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and return the pan to the heat. Add the onion and broccoli and cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant and just beginning to cook through. Stir in the tomatoes and turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese. Add the bread and stir with a rubber spatula to submerge it in the liquid. Fold in the vegetable mixture and the bacon and pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 to 35 minutes or until a small knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The cheese should be melted and the edges a golden brown. Allow the strata to rest for 5 minutes before serving.