Tomato-Cheddar Strata with Broccoli

This festive  breakfast casserole is a favorite of mine for Christmas morning brunch. When relatives are coming in and out visiting, this is a great dish to serve up with all the other choices. It would be great to take to work breakfast as well.

It is a yummy dish that can be served for vegetarians with some ham slices on the side for the carnivores or toss in some diced ham leftover from your Christmas Eve dinner, it super delicious either way. I love the festive colors in the dish too!

This is a great make ahead dish the night before, that only means you have to pop it into the oven the morning you need it.

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Tomato-Cheddar Strata with Broccoli
servings: approx 8


4 1/2 cups 1 inch bread cubes (I used about 3/4 of a loaf of french bread)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli florets diced small
8 large eggs or 1 pint of egg beaters (I used egg beaters)
3 cups milk
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
Optional: 1/2 cup diced ham


Place bread cubes in a buttered (non stick spray is fine) 9 x13 baking dish
Top bread with 1 cup cheddar (reserve 1/2 cup cheese for the top  of the dish)
Layer tomatoes, broccoli, and if desired 1/2 cup diced ham
In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over the bread dish, and gently press down bread to soak every cube.
Add dollops of ricotta cheese over the top.
Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese.
Cover and refrigerate several hours or over night.

To bake:
Remove strata from refrigerator and let set at room temperature for about an 1 hour.
Meanwhile, Preheat oven to 350° F.
Remove cover from dish, and bake until strata is puffed and lightly browned, approximately 1 hour.
Remove from oven and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

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