This very vegan zucchini breakfast strata is a dish you can also serve for brunch, lunch or dinner, or anytime in between that you have a mind to eat. I can promise you, though, that there will never be any leftovers for in-between snacking.
There are many layers and flavors that go into this strata, and each is a delicious recipe in itself. There is a flavorsome saute of zucchini and tomatoes, mashed potatoes with olive oil, sage and ground black pepper, and a lemon basil cashew cream that’s so good, you’ll want to chug it out of the blender.
Despite all this action, this recipe comes together really fast: it takes me no more than 30 minutes to put everything together, especially if I multitask thoughtfully (and I am the world’s worst multitasker). I like to make the strata the night before and the baking dish goes into the fridge for all the flavors to soak into each other all night. The next morning I bung it into the oven for a total of 50 minutes. By the time the fragrance of basil and potatoes baking fills up the house, we are good and hungry and ready to dig in.
I used my homemade sourdough sandwich bread in this recipe– I will share that recipe with you this week and I won’t say much about it right now except to say it’s the perfect sandwich loaf. So get your sourdough starter going, if you don’t have one already. But if you’d rather not use sourdough in this strata, use just any old bread– brown, white, rye, it’s all good here.
- 2 medium zucchini cut into thin rings
- 1 medium tomato seeded, all juice squeezed out, and diced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning sub with dry herbs if you'd rather
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 moderately hot chili pepper like jalapeno minced
- 10 leaves of fresh basil + more for garnish
- 1 cup cashews soaked for 30 minutes
- Juice of 1/2 lemon + zest of the lemon
- 4 medium russet potatoes boiled and peeled
- 4 leaves of sage finely minced
- 5 slices of bread use white, whole wheat or sourdough, cut into cubes
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add the garlic, sauté for a few seconds. Don't let it brown. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and onions. Season with ground black pepper and Italian seasoning. Saute for five minutes or until zucchini is soft but not mushy. If there is liquid in the pan, cook over high heat for a few minutes until most of it has evaporated. Turn off the heat.
- While the zucchini is cooking, place the soaked, drained cashews in a blender along with 2 cups water, basil, lemon juice, salt and jalapeno. Add salt to taste and blend until very smooth.
- Make the mashed potatoes by mashing together the boiled, peeled potatoes with the remaining 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, sage, and lemon zest.
- In a large bowl, mix the zucchini-tomato mixture, bread, and half the mashed potatoes.
- Place them in a 9 X 2 inch baking dish and spread evenly.
- Pour on the basil cream evenly, and toss or press down slightly to make sure the bread cubes are immersed in the cream.
- Scatter on the remaining mashed potatoes over the casserole.
- Cover tightly with a cling wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight for the flavors to merge and for the bread to get thoroughly soaked.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Place the baking dish in the oven and cook 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, turn on the custom broil to 450 degrees. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the bread and mashed potatoes turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with basil, let stand about 10 minutes. Then scoop out and serve hot.