[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Strata is a great vehicle for turning leftover odds and ends into a filling meal for a crowd. The only real essentials are bread, milk and eggs—the rest is up to you, or more accurately, whatever you happen to have in your fridge.

You'd be surprised at what I've included in my fridge-cleaning history: fried hotdogs and leftover cheese sauce, leftover cooked vegetables and pesto, shredded chicken, pepper jack cheese and salsa. But my go-to strata is chopped bacon and fried onions with plenty of cheese and the last of the fresh herbs in my fridge, which is what you see in the photo above. Just let your fridge guide you, and I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you come up with.

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About the author: Sydney Oland lives in Somerville, Mass. Find more information at sydneyoland.com (or read eatingnosetotail.com)

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