Kale and Cheddar Strata: Savory, Make-Ahead PerfectionElizabeth Stark
Ever since having kids, brunch has become one of our favorite ways to entertain; but with two kids running around, we need something that’s easy to make the day-of. That’s where this deliciously creamy strata comes in. It’s a cinch to throw together the night before, and in the morning all you need to do is bake. It’s just right for entertaining, special breakfasts, or holiday mornings.
Strata is essentially a savory bread pudding, and lends itself beautifully to variations like spinach, mushrooms, or peppers. I’m fond of a whole wheat sourdough bread from my local farmer’s market, and that’s what I used here, but challah, or any large French or Italian variety will do very nicely.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large spanish onion, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1 bunch tuscan kale, washed and cut into ribbons
8 cups good bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
2 ounces Asiago, grated
2 3/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and then add the onion, cooking until it’s soft and translucent. Stir in the kale and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and cook for three minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Butter a 9 x 13 x 3 inch casserole dish. Layer the bread cubes, cheeses, and cooked kale mixture, making three layers.
Whisk the eggs and milk together, and then add the mustard, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour over the strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill, for several hours or overnight.
Set the dish out to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the edges have browned slightly and pulled away from the edges.
Cool strata for 5 minutes, slice, and serve.
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