Hello, everyone! How is your August so far? We had a pretty rough start with the weather being so humid, but it’s been fairly cooler and drier these past couple of days. Yesterday we went to a beautiful wedding, and today we’re switching out the ‘Sunday best’ for old jeans as we get ready to bale up some hay. We’re swimming in produce, too! The tomatoes began ripening en masse last week, and we’ve about drowned in cucumbers and yellow squash. I’ve been trying a few new recipes with yellow squash in an attempted to use more of it, and the recipe I’m sharing with you today is the result of one of those experiments: roasted summer squash and sausage strata. Now, as a forewarning, most stratas are more like bread puddings, with a soft, somewhat custardy texture (if done correctly). I like a more crispy texture myself, so there’s less liquid. If you prefer a more traditional approach, just increase the eggs and milk by about half or so and you should be set.
- 6 cups bread, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium/large onion
- 2 Italian sausage patties
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- Pepper, to taste
- Gather all your ingredients. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut zucchini, yellow squash, and onion into approximately 1″ pieces, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil and spread out in a single layer in a shallow baking pan; roast until vegetables are tender and moisture is evaporated, approximately 25-30 minutes. (Alternatively you could sauté them on the stovetop until caramelized).
- Meanwhile, cook sausage patties in a frying pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat until done and browned (4 or 5 minutes on each side, give or take. Honestly, I didn’t time them). Cool and cut into 1″ pieces. (Alternatively you could grill them for that smokey-grill flavor).
- In a large bowl toss bread crumbs, roasted squash and onions, sausage, and cheese, then place in a greased 2 quart baking dish or 9×13 pan. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, milk, and pepper; pour over the contents of the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Remove from the fridge and allow to sit on the counter while the oven preheats to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until eggs are set and desired crispiness has been achieved. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but with a savory dish like this I like to drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the top before digging in. The mild, homey sweetness pairs really well with the salty cheese, savory roasted vegetables, and spicy sausage. This strata is great for supper, or breakfast, or brunch ─ really whenever. It’s a great way to use up day-old/ stale bread, too (which is actually how the strata came to be invented, too, as it happens). Toss in whatever vegetables, meat, and cheeses you want for virtually endless flavor possibilities, too. I’m thinking tomato and basil would be good ─ especially with our whopping 20+ tomato plants ripening!
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