Autumn Strata

By September 29, 2015

This savory breakfast casserole is the perfect make-ahead dish for a Fall brunch at your place. The ingredients are just suggestions, so improvise following the general layering technique. Can be easily made without meat for a vegetarian dish.

 1/2 loaf day old bread or large baguette, torn to small pieces
 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
 1.5 cups cooked acorn or butternut squash (in chunks or cubes)
 1/2 packet breakfast patties, breakfast links or maple links (or 1/2 lb any mild sausage)
 A few handfuls of kale or other greens (broccoli leaves, chard)-- washed and torn into small pieces
 6-8 eggs
 1.5 cups milk
 4 oz. cheese, grated
 dash nutmeg
 dash mustard powder
 salt and pepper
1

Brown your sausage or breakfast patties in a large cast iron skillet, breaking into pieces as you go. Cook almost all the way through, and then transfer sausage into a bowl.

2

In the drippings, cook the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, and then add the kale or other greens. Cook down for 10 minutes, until soft. If your greens are really bitter, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or honey.

3

If your bread isn't very dry, tear into small pieces and dehydrate in a warm oven (170 or the lowest possible setting) until dry and crunchy.

4

Whisk together the eggs, milk (or cream and stock), the pinch of nutmeg and dry mustard, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Use more salt if your cheese is not very salt (mozzarella or ludlow.)

5

Grease or oil your baking dish (minimum 3 qt capacity.)

6

Make your layers, using half to 2/3rds of each ingredient for the first layer: on the bottom, do a layer of bread, then squash, sausage, greens, and then cheese. Repeat, using up all your fillings.

7

Carefully and slowly pour your egg/milk mixture over top, going slowly so you don't spill out the sides.

8

Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

9

Take our your strata an hour before baking to bring to room temp. Tip-- set your baking dish on a cookie sheet for a less wobbly oven transfer. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes with the foil on, and then 15 more minutes without the foil. It's done when the edges are beginning to brown and pull away from the sides. If it needs a little extra time (mine did because I used a deep baking dish), bump up the temp to 400 and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving, but serve warm (maybe with a splash of maple syrup for extra sweetness). Reheats well-- can be made ahead of time and frozen, then reheated like a quiche.

Ingredients

 1/2 loaf day old bread or large baguette, torn to small pieces
 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
 1.5 cups cooked acorn or butternut squash (in chunks or cubes)
 1/2 packet breakfast patties, breakfast links or maple links (or 1/2 lb any mild sausage)
 A few handfuls of kale or other greens (broccoli leaves, chard)-- washed and torn into small pieces
 6-8 eggs
 1.5 cups milk
 4 oz. cheese, grated
 dash nutmeg
 dash mustard powder
 salt and pepper

Directions

1

Brown your sausage or breakfast patties in a large cast iron skillet, breaking into pieces as you go. Cook almost all the way through, and then transfer sausage into a bowl.

2

In the drippings, cook the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, and then add the kale or other greens. Cook down for 10 minutes, until soft. If your greens are really bitter, add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or honey.

3

If your bread isn't very dry, tear into small pieces and dehydrate in a warm oven (170 or the lowest possible setting) until dry and crunchy.

4

Whisk together the eggs, milk (or cream and stock), the pinch of nutmeg and dry mustard, and about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Use more salt if your cheese is not very salt (mozzarella or ludlow.)

5

Grease or oil your baking dish (minimum 3 qt capacity.)

6

Make your layers, using half to 2/3rds of each ingredient for the first layer: on the bottom, do a layer of bread, then squash, sausage, greens, and then cheese. Repeat, using up all your fillings.

7

Carefully and slowly pour your egg/milk mixture over top, going slowly so you don't spill out the sides.

8

Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours or ideally overnight.

9

Take our your strata an hour before baking to bring to room temp. Tip-- set your baking dish on a cookie sheet for a less wobbly oven transfer. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes with the foil on, and then 15 more minutes without the foil. It's done when the edges are beginning to brown and pull away from the sides. If it needs a little extra time (mine did because I used a deep baking dish), bump up the temp to 400 and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving, but serve warm (maybe with a splash of maple syrup for extra sweetness). Reheats well-- can be made ahead of time and frozen, then reheated like a quiche.

Autumn Strata

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