Got a garden this summer? Then you might be looking for ways to use up all the zucchini and summer squash that are starting to pop up.
My sister gave me Joanna Gaines new cookbook Magnolia Table for Mother’s Day, and I was totally intrigued by this recipe. Layers of bread and cheese and sautéed squash sounded like the perfect side dish for grilled meats or seafood. And it was a great way to squeeze a lot of garden veggies into a dish that my kids would probably eat thanks to all that bread and cheese.
Turns out I was right. If we ever get invited to a summer bbq again, this is what I’m making. It also has me thinking about all the different things that could go in a strata. Crumbled sausage sounds like it would be great in this one. Or you could go ham, egg, cheese, and green pepper. Or you could go dessert and add all the berries that are in season. But this dish is definitely special, with its velvety squash and melt in your mouth cheesey bread.
It feeds a lot of people too – it says 8-10 servings but it felt like more than that. I’m happy to report the leftovers are delicious too. I think it might be even better the next day.
I dried out my bread first and kept it in a ziplock bag until I was ready to make the strata the next day so that is a great step to get out of the way. Eight squash are a lot to chop so turn on a podcast or album. I also needed to use 2 pans because there was so much squash to sauté.
Hope you get to try this soon! It is a total summer comfort food dish. I am happy to report Joanna knows what she is doing in the kitchen, not that we doubted it for a second.
Happy Eating! xoxo Katie
Zucchini Squash Strata
7 cups torn French bread (from 2 large loaves)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
4 large zucchini, cut into 1/8 inch slices
4 large summer squash, cut into 1/8 inch slices
6 oz. white Cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 oz. Fontina cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
2 oz. parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons garlic salt
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 250. Spread the torn bread on a sheet pan and dry in the oven for 45 min. until crunchy and golden. Set aside.
In a large skillet (I did it in 2 skillets) heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini and squash and sauté until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl to cool completely, about 20 min.
Grease a 9 x 13 in baking dish (or an extra large round skillet) with butter.
In a large bowl, mix the bread, Cheddar, Fontina, Parmesan, sautéed zucchini/squash mixture, and garlic salt until combined.
In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper until smooth.
Pour the egg mixture over the zucchini and bread mixture and stir until the bread is well coated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the strata until the casserole is set and the top is nicely browned, 35-40 min.
Sprinkle with the parsley if desired and serve hot. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Makes 8-10 servings.
Recipe from Magnolia Table cookbook by Joanna Gaines.