Makes 6 servings

This simple meal can be made the night ahead and served for brunch, lunch or supper! Try to use fresh basil as it really does make a difference.  Cheddar cheese can be substituted for the Swiss cheese.  Serve with ta simple Fresh Tomato Salad.


6 cups  (1.5 L)             whole wheat bread cubes (about 8 slices), preferably stale

3 cups  (750 mL)         finely diced zucchini (about 1 lb/500 g)

1-1/2 cups (375 mL)   shredded Swiss cheese

6                                  eggs

2 cups  (500 mL)         2% milk

1/4 cup (50 mL)          chopped fresh basil or 1 tbsp (15 mL) dried basil

1/2 tsp (2 mL)             dry mustard

1/4 tsp (1 mL)             each ground nutmeg and pepper


6                                  large tomatoes (about 3 lb/1.5 kg), sliced

2 tbsp  (25 mL)           balsamic vinegar

2 tsp (10 mL)              olive oil

1 tbsp (15 mL)             chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil

Pinch                           pepper


  1. Lightly grease a 9- x 13- inch (3L) glass baking dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread half of the bread cubes in the casserole dish; top with half of the zucchini and half of the cheese. Repeat layers.
  3. In a large bowl, beat eggs with milk, basil, mustard, nutmeg and pepper; pour over strata. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until golden and set in centre.
  5. To make the Fresh Tomato Salad, arrange tomato slices on large plate. Combine vinegar and oil; drizzle over tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and pepper.

Cartoons ©Steve Nease


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