2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to grease and drizzle
30g packet French onion dip mix or ½ cup French onion salt (below)
2 cups dairy, almond or oat milk
6 eggs, beaten well
4 cups day-old 2cm wholegrain bread cubes
40g grated gruyère
1 bunch chives, minced
¼ cup dried minced onion
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped dried chives

This is where French onion dip meets savoury bread pudding; it’s the perfect make-ahead brunch headliner. Pull everything together the night before you want to serve the strata and bake it the following morning. Look for an organic, all-natural French onion dip blend at your local grocery store, or use my French onion salt.

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1.To make the onion salt, combine the minced onion, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and chives in a jar with a lid.
2.Store the salt at room temperature for up to 6 months.
3.Rub a small splash of olive oil across a 20cm baking dish, or equivalent.
4.In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, onion dip mix and milk.
5.Add the eggs and whisk well.
6.Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
7.Very slowly, drizzle the liquid mixture over the bread and sprinkle with the cheese.
8.Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.
9.When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C and place a rack in the centre.
10.Bake the strata, uncovered, for 45-55 minutes, until the egg is set and puffy and the edges are golden brown (cut into it to be sure it is well cooked).
11.Serve the strata warm, drizzled with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with chives.

Recipes and Photography Heidi Swanson


This edited extract
is taken from Super
Natural Simple by Heidi
Swanson, published
by Hardie Grant
Books (RRP $45) and
available where all
good books are sold.



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