Sausage, Kale And Squash Strata
You'll need a 3-quart ovenproof casserole dish, such as a 9-by-13-inch pan.
Strata improves when there is plenty of time for the bread to soak up the custard. Make this up to 12 hours ahead of baking. The strata will emerge from the oven puffed and gorgeous, then deflate. It can be served piping hot or at room temperature.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound chicken-apple sausage links
2 cups peeled butternut squash, cubed or sliced
2 cups frozen kale, defrosted and squeezed dry
¾ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon dry (rubbed) sage
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
One 12-to-14-ounce brioche loaf, thickly sliced
About 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1½ cups)
Hot sauce, for serving
Line a plate with paper towels. Heat half the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sausage links; cook for about 7 minutes, turning frequently, until browned and warmed through. Transfer to the plate to drain.
Wipe out the pan and return it to medium heat. Pour in the remaining oil; once it shimmers, add the squash and cook for about 8 minutes until softened, then stir in the kale, ¼ cup of the parsley, sage, salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, remove from the heat.
Slice the sausages into thick coins, then stir them into the squash-and-kale mixture.
Whisk the eggs and yolks in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Pinch off pieces of the cream cheese, whisking them into the eggs as you work. The mixture will not be smooth. Whisk in the milk, cream, honey, mustard, chives and the remaining ½ cup of parsley.
Use the butter to grease the casserole dish. Beginning and ending with the sliced brioche, build the strata layers as follows: bread, sausage mixture and scatterings of grated Gruyere, reserving enough cheese for the top of the strata. Depending on the size and shape of the dish, there may be two or three layers.
Gradually pour the egg mixture over the layers. If the top layer is not covered, press it down gently until just submerged. Lightly cover the surface with the remaining grated Gruyere. Use cooking oil spray to grease the underside of the aluminum foil you will use to cover the strata, then crimp it tightly around the edges. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 12 hours before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, place the strata on the counter so it will come to room temperature (or close to it). Do not remove the foil.
Bake (middle rack) for about 1 hour; carefully uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the strata is puffy, slightly jiggly in the center and browned on the surface.
Serve right away, with hot sauce.
Nutrition per serving: 410 calories, 19 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 27 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 240 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 12 g sugar