Based on an old-fashioned English recipe, but with an American influence, this satisfying savoury pudding is made up of layers of bread and vegetables with a cheesy egg custard poured over. Served with a quick home-made tomato sauce, it is a tasty and nutritious dish. A leafy salad could be served alongside.
Replace the shallots with 1–2 sliced leeks. * Flavour the egg custard with chopped fresh oregano or marjoram instead of chives. * For a higher fibre dish, use wholemeal bread. * Use Double Gloucester or Lancashire cheese instead of Cheddar. * To make a sausage and courgette strata, grill 4 good-quality, high-meat-content herby pork sausages. Meanwhile, cook 1 finely chopped onion and 3 sliced courgettes in the butter for 8–10 minutes or until tender. Slice the grilled sausages and mix with the vegetables. Cut the bread into cubes rather than slices. Layer the bread cubes and sausage mixture in the ovenproof dish. Make the egg custard as in the main recipe, but flavour with 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary instead of chives and parsley. Omit the cheese. Leave to soak, then bake. Serve with the tomato sauce, and vegetables such as baby carrots and peas.
Cheddar cheese is a good source of protein and an excellent source of calcium. It has a high fat content, but by choosing a mature Cheddar, less can be used while still making a valuable contribution to the flavour and nutritional value of the recipe. * Sweetcorn provides useful amounts of dietary fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system in good working order.
A, B12, C, calcium * B1, B2, E, folate, niacin, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc * B6