With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I asked our curd nerd and still new mom, Chef Tracey Shepos Cenami, to talk about her favorite dish for this special day. Cheers to all the moms out there. – Justin
As a mom to a 16-month old, I love that I get another day every year (second to my birthday) where it is customary to be treated like royalty, at least by my husband. I yearn for what most moms’ desire on this special day: to be pampered a bit, to sleep in and, of course, breakfast in bed.
One of my favorite breakfast or brunch dishes is a strata. This is a savory bread pudding that is easy to personalize and use seasonal ingredients. This is a great dish to serve at any brunch gathering because it is hearty and decadent without being overindulgent. One of the best parts is that a strata is best made the night before and just popped into the oven to bake in the morning.
At the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, we rely on our bountiful gardens for the best of what each season has to offer. A strata is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of some of spring’s finest offerings like asparagus, spring onions and green garlic. I also love adding in a favorite local cheese like Bellwether Farms Carmody or Estero Gold from Valley Ford.
Here are some other suggestions for throughout the year: summer– heirloom tomatoes, basil and roasted peppers with Estero Gold Cheese; fall– butternut squash, sage, chard with aged Two Rock Goat Cheese; and winter– wild mushrooms, spinach, sausage and Cypress Grove Chevre. You could even stay traditional with applewood smoked bacon or appeal to mom’s sweet tooth with a version using fresh berries and ricotta cheese.
Find out what your mom’s favorite ingredients are and whip up this easy-for-you and impressive-to-her Mother’s Day dish. We may not all be the real Queen Mother but this will certainly be a good start. A diamond tiara wouldn’t hurt either.
Enjoy with a glass of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, sliced into rings
- 3 white spring onions, greens trimmed and sliced, whites minced
- 3 stems green garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 10 eggs
- 8 cups hearty bread, cubed
- 1½ cups Bellwether Farms Carmody, grated
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. butter (for buttering the dish)
- Heat oil in large sauté pan and add asparagus, onions, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and sauté on medium heat until vegetables are just tender. Chill.
- Whip eggs until frothy and combine with remaining ingredients. Toss everything together and season with 1 tablespoon salt. Place in a buttered, 13×9-inch baking dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. If refrigerating overnight, allow the strata to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until eggs are cooked through and top is browned.