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Fontina, Speck, and Onion Strata


This brunch casserole is a perfect recipe if you're an early riser and your guests like to sleep in; it needs to be refrigerated for at least two hours (or up to four hours) before baking. This strata -- rich, cheesy, and studded with onion and salty speck -- is refrigerated for several hours to ensure that it soaks up all the liquid.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2010


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, preferably Vidalia (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 10 cups day-old rustic bread (from 13 ounces), cut into 3/4 -inch cubes
  • 4 ounces sliced speck or ham, coarsely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 3 cups shredded fontina (8 ounces)
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray


  1. Heat butter in a large high-sided skillet over high heat. Cook onion until lightly caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes (adjust heat if browning too quickly). Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer onion to a plate, and let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Season with pepper. Add bread cubes, and toss well to combine. Toss in onion and speck. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread half the bread mixture on the bottom of a 10-by-14-inch oval baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 cups fontina. Top with remaining bread mixture. Coat a large piece of parchment with cooking spray. Cover strata with parchment, then with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle with remaining cup fontina. Raise oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until top is golden brown and crusty, 20 minutes more. Let rest for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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