This is the dish my family always eats for breakfast on Christmas day morning, and because I’m always the first one up, I’m the one who makes it. Technically, it’s actually a strata, I believe, and I probably should call it that. But, we’ve always called it a frittata – I think just because it’s way more fun to say. The ingredients are pretty simple, but it’s wonderfully flavorful, bursting with a jumble of veggies and creamy pockets of cheese. I don’t use cream cheese very often, but this is one dish where I really love it.
- 2 cups cubed country-style bread
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 2 medium summer squash, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
- 1 each red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup cream
- 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- The night before you plan to make this dish, put the cubed bread on a tray and leave it out overnight to get stale.
- Get out two large frying pans (unless you have a seriously massive frying pan in which case you can fry in one), and heat half of the olive oil in each pan. Divide the onions and garlic between the two pans, and sautee them until they soften, about 5 minutes. Next add half of the sliced veggies to each pan and sautee them, stirring occasionally, until they are good and soft, probably about 20 minutes. This part can also be done the night before and the veggies refrigerated for use the next morning.
- Preheat your oven to 350?F. Get out a large baking pan (9X13) or casserole dish and spread the bread cubes in the bottom.
- Cut the cream cheese into little chunks and scatter them amongst the bread cubes (and when I say scatter, I really mean, unstick them from your fingers and glop them about – cream cheese isn’t the easiest to work with).
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. When the veggies are done, add them to the egg mixture and stir in 3/4 s of the grated cheese. Pour this into the baking pan over the bread and scatter the rest of the cheese over the top.
- Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the eggs are set and the cheese is bubbly – have a cup of coffee while you wait. Serve warm from the oven, and be prepared to feel quite fortified and ready to face the prospect of shoveling the 2 feet of heavy snow that just may have fallen over night!