This past summer on the Vineyard, I was fortunate to be invited to a couple of breakfasts on the beach. Each featured delightful and delectable offerings of food and fellowship. French toast and scrambled eggs cooked on grills, fresh fruit and freshly, baked that morning, scones, tomato pies, potatoes cooked various ways and artichoke strata are just a few of the samplings offered on those sun drenched mornings.With the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, grills being fired up and the sweet, salty air surrounding us, I would say this was a near perfect way to begin a day.
The perk to all of the above was having your beach chair already set up, your suntan lotion handily available, and the sun and surf ready to be enjoyed. The breakfast easily eases into afternoon. This is another All of This! moments with friends gathered around in chairs, our tables being our laps or towels, and nature providing the most beautiful entertainment venue possible.
Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Strata
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 1 large)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 jar sun dried tomatoes (4 oz)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
1 3/4 cups 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
1/2 (1-pound) loaf white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese, divided
1. 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, tomatoes 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.
2. 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.
3. Preheat oven to 375°.
4. 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.