I love strata not only because it's a "kitchen sink" dish that lets you use up lots of things that may be lying around (slightly wilted greens, random nubs of cheese), but also because it always look so lovely, and you can serve it right from the pan. You also do all the assembly the night before, and then just bake it before you're ready to eat. —Merrill Stubbs
- Serves 8
Unsalted butter (for the baking dish)
sweet Italian sausages
finely chopped shallots
large bunch kale, spinach, or chard, stems removed, washed, dried and roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
1 1/2 cups
freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
6 1/2 cups
cubed stale bread (3/4-inch)
- Generously butter a 3-quart baking dish and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat and add the sausages. Sauté until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove the sausages to a cutting board and let them cool a bit. Chop the sausages roughly and set aside.
- Add the shallots and a generous pinch of salt to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. (If they start to brown, turn down the heat.)
- Add the greens to the pan, along with another big pinch of salt, and cook until they are just wilted but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Set the pan aside, off the heat.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, nutmeg, and pepper until smooth.
- To assemble the strata, spread half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the sausage, and then spread half the greens over the sausage and bread. Sprinkle half of each of the cheeses evenly over the greens. Repeat with a second layer of each of the remaining ingredients. Carefully pour the egg mixture over everything in the dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
- Take the strata out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Heat the oven to 350° F, uncover the strata, and bake it for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through (you can test it with a toothpick, or jiggle it to make sure the egg is set). Let the strata cool for about 5 minutes before serving.