Though I love reading Cooking Light from cover to cover each month, I rarely prepare any dishes from it because most recipes feature some form of animal protein. I’m not a vegetarian by any means (Lord, no!), but seeing as though I dine out quite a bit, refraining from eating big hunks of meat at home keeps me nice and balanced.
Recently, the magazine’s editors have taken note of mostly meatless folks like me. In fact, this month’s issue provided an entire section dedicated to comforting vegetarian casseroles. I loved how these entrees had oomph and interest without relying heavily on meat. This recipe for Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata immediately jumped off the page because I adore eating breakfasty foods for dinner. Plus, The Astronomer really digs artichokes.
Stratas, which are close relatives of quiches and frittatas, earned their name from the interweaving layers of egg-soaked bread, vegetables, and cheese. This one is loaded with herbes de Provence-tinged artichokes, as well as rich and tangy crumbles of goat cheese. Topped with a bit of hot sauce and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, this strata fit the bill for a filling, satisfying, and most importantly, meat-free meal.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 1 large)
- 12-ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
- 1 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 5 slices country-style white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
- Cooking spray
- 5 ounces crumbled goat cheese, divided
Heat a large nonstick 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.
Combine milk, black pepper, salt, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and bread; toss gently to combine. Stir in artichoke mixture, and let stand for 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 top with remaining bread mixture. Sprinkle remaining half of goat cheese over top.
Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce.
Makes 6 servings.