Breakfast Strata with Greens, Gruyere, and Sausage (or not)

Make this the night before, then pop it in the oven for a delicious breakfast.  Great way to use a bunch of kale, chard, or other leafy greens.

Breakfast Strata with Greens, Gruyere, and Sausage
Adapted from Gourmet by Amy at Eggs on Sunday

Ingredients

1 large bunch of dark leafy greens (such as collards, chard, or kale), OR one (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread (I usually use a 1-lb loaf, as I’ve found this yields 8 cups)
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage (optional)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (sometimes I use whole-grain mustard for a variation)

Directions

Wash and finely chop the greens (if you’re using frozen spinach, squeeze handfuls of it dry and then finely chop.)

Cook the onion in the butter in a large saucepan until it begins to soften. Add the sausage, if using, and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and the ground nutmeg, and cook 1 minute. Add the greens and cook until they’re wilted and tender (if you’re using frozen spinach, this will only take about 1 minute; if you’re using another kind of dark leafy green, it will take a little longer.) Remove from the heat.

Butter a 3-qt gratin dish or other large ceramic baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the bread cubes in the bottom of the dish, top with 1/3 of the spinach mixture, then with 1/3 of both of the cheeses. Repeat the layering 2 more times, ending with the cheeses.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, and the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour evenly over the strata and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Chill overnight in the refrigerator, or at least 8 hours.

The next morning, let the strata stand at room temperature to take the chill off a bit, about 30 minutes. You can do this while you’re preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the strata, uncovered, in the middle of a 350 degree F oven for 45-55 minutes, until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through. Let it stand 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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