Mushroom, Kale, and Tomato StrataPhoto Credit : Joe St. Pierre
Though it’s more eggy than a bread pudding, a strata starts with the same rich, carb-filled goodness. Far from a light dish, it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to eat every day, but it is the kind of thing that makes for a great brunch when you want to win over your friends with food. Bonus: You can assemble this colorful tomato strata a day ahead.
8 cups cubed whole-grain bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch green curly kale, ribs removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1½ cups shredded Gruyère cheese
¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
8 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the bread onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until dried out and lightly crisped. Reduce heat to 350°F.
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Stir in the kale, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Toss together the Gruyère and cheddar in a small bowl.
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the butter. Cover the bottom of the dish with 1/3 of the bread cubes. Sprinkle on 1/3 each of the mushroom mixture, tomatoes, and cheese. Repeat the layers twice more in this manner, starting with the bread cubes and ending with the cheese.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Pour the mixture over the strata, making sure to moisten all the bread. Use a sheet of plastic wrap to gently press the bread into the egg mixture and cover the strata. Let sit for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
Bake the strata for about 40 minutes, or until it’s set in the center, rotating the pan halfway through. Serve right away