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Leek, Bacon and Gruyère Strata

This appealing egg dish makes a wonderful breakfast or brunch, or serve it along with a salad for a light supper.

  1. 2 Tbsp butter 30 ml
  2. 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and chopped
  3. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  5. 10 cups cubed day-old Italian bread (3⁄4-inch/2 cm cubes) 2.5 L
  6. 12 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  7. 2 cups shredded Gruyère or Cheddar cheese 500 ml
  8. 8 large eggs
  9. 2 cups milk 500 ml
  10. ½ tsp salt 2 ml
  11. ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 ml
  12. ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 ml
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Cook leeks, garlic and red pepper, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
  2. Grease a 13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking dish. Layer half the bread cubes in baking dish. Top with half each of the leek mixture, bacon and cheese. Repeat layers. In a bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  3. Pour evenly over bread mixture. Press down with a spatula to help bread absorb egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Uncover strata and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set and top is puffed. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
  1. Tip: To clean leeks, trim dark green tops. Cut down center almost to root end and chop. Rinse in a sink full of cold water to remove sand; scoop up leeks and place in colander to drain or use a salad spinner.
  2. Tip: Recipe can be halved and baked in an 8-inch (20 cm) baking dish for 30 to 40 minutes.
The Best of Bridge

This recipe is available in the book Best of Bridge Home Cooking.