Your Best Brunch Begins with This Dish

Your Best Brunch Begins with This Dish

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Photo by James Stefiuk
Photo by James Stefiuk

Moreton Neal says this foolproof dish can be made the night before, allowing you to skip prep time the morning you’d like to enjoy it.

Mushroom Strata

1 lb. crusty bread, preferably ciabatta

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 Tbsp. butter

1 lb. assorted mushrooms, sliced

1 large onion (about 2 cups), chopped

Pinch of salt and pepper

4 cups whipping cream (or half-and-half)

10 eggs

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated (or substitute with a good Parmesan)

Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Mix the oil, thyme and garlic. On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread the cubes and pour the oil mixture over them, tossing until well mixed. Bake at 375 F until slightly crunchy, about 20 minutes. Cool.

Melt butter in a frying pan. Add mushrooms and onion, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until soft. Cool.

Whisk together cream, eggs, salt and pepper.

Mix together the bread cubes, mushroom mixture and half the cheese in a buttered 9-by-13 baking pan. Pour in the cream mixture. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 18 hours.

Bake at 350 F for about an hour, then let stand about 15 minutes before serving.

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Moreton Neal is an author and interior designer who lives in Chapel Hill. She is a lifelong foodie, having co-founded LA Residence in 1976.