Kale and Butternut Squash Strata

29 09 2010
A strata is a type of bread pudding like casserole. It is a one dish meal made with bread cubes soaked in eggs and milk (like french toast) and then baked with assorted vegetables. In this case, I used fall flavors of kale, chard and butternut squash. It almost was like a stuffing casserole. I served it to guests who found it delicious. My complete menu was Tarragon Zucchini soup followed by the Strata and a nice green salad with a Sherry shallot vinaigrette. I finished the meal with a peach and blueberry crisp.
  • 2 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • sea salt
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups half and half
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine or sake
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 day-old long baguette (do not remove crust), torn into 1-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), ribs removed, kale coarsely chopped or a combination of greens like chard, beet greens, mustard greens
  • 12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary or sage

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil on rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper; bake until squash is tender, turning with spatula occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add half and half, wine, mustard, and some sea salt; whisk to blend. Add baguette pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add kale and/or other greens; cover and cook 2 minutes. Uncover and stir until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 5 minutes (kale will be a bit crunchy).

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Generously butter 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Using slotted spoon, transfer half of bread from egg mixture to prepared baking dish, arranging to cover most of dish. Spoon half of kale over bread. Spoon half of squash over bread and kale; sprinkle with half of cheese and  half of rosemary or sage. Repeat with remaining bread, kale, squash, cheese and herbs. Pour remaining egg mixture over bread pudding.

Cover bread pudding with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until custard is set and bread feels springy to touch, about 20 minutes longer.

Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Butternut-Squash-and-Cheddar-Bread-Pudding-355792#ixzz10xmhkQIk




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