Put together this delicious kale and cheddar strata on Saturday night, then wake and bake on Sunday. Congratulations, you’re a brunch genius.
A STRATA is basically a savory bread pudding, in this case with cheese and greens, and it's the ideal thing to serve a bunch of people for brunch. It's easy, cheap, and cheesy enough to tackle your hangover while still being sort of healthy (…looking) thanks to the green stuff.
The best part is that you can put the whole thing together the night before you want to serve it, let it hang out in the fridge overnight, and then pop it in the oven an hour before you eat. I recently made this on a weekend trip when it was magically the perfect way to use up all the groceries left in the fridge, but it's well worth making even if you have to go out and buy the ingredients.
You'll need about half a bakery loaf of rustic white bread (French, Italian or sourdough) — and slightly stale is even better than fresh. Leave the crust on when you slice it into cubes (about 1″) and you'll get nice chewy bits inside the strata and crunchy bits on top.
1 tablespoon butter + more for baking pan
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small or 1/2 large bunch kale, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
4–5 cups cubed French or Italian bread
4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
1 ounce Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated or shaved
1 1/2 cups milk (low-fat or whole)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and grease an 8″ square baking dish with a little bit of butter.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and stir in garlic once the butter melts. When garlic is sizzling and begins to turn golden, stir in kale and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted. Turn off the heat.
Spread out half the bread in the bottom of the baking dish, cover with half the kale and sprinkle half the cheeses over, then repeat with remaining bread, kale, and cheese.
Beat eggs with mustard, milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Pour egg mixture over the bread in the dish. Now you can either bake the strata right away or cover it with tin foil, keep in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning.
Bake, uncovered, for 45–55 minutes, until the strata is cooked through and the edges pull away slightly from the pan. It should be puffy, golden-brown, and no longer wiggly in the middle.