You can think of a strata as a casserole-quiche hybrid: it takes the form of a baked, layered dish which is held together with an eggy mixture. Strata also are typically made with bread and cheese, plus some other savory ingredients in the middle – so you can eat it for breakfast or brunch, but it also serves well at really any time of the day. This particular recipe uses kale and mushrooms, plus some good cheese and sourdough bread, so it’s a little more elevated than your typical strata recipe (we based it on this variation from Bon Appétit). It was an easy and veggie-filled dish to throw together on a lazy Sunday, and it came out nice and cheesy and warm – so try it out for yourself!
To make this, you’ll need:
First, take 8-10 slices of your sourdough bread and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Place them on a baking sheet, making sure the pieces don’t overlap, and bake them at 350°F for about 10 minutes until they’re very lightly toasted. Then set them aside to cool.
Now take a large cast iron skillet, pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into it, and set it over medium-high heat. Slice all of your mushrooms and 2 garlic cloves and cook everything for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and reduced.
Dice up the green parts of your leeks, then push the mushrooms and garlic over to one side of your pan and melt a tablespoon of butter in the middle. Add in the leeks and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top, and cook these for another 5 minutes.
Then mix the mushrooms back in with the leeks.
Tear your kale leaves by hand and add them into the pan to cook until they’re wilted. Scrape all of these vegetables out of the pan and set them aside in a bowl.
Melt another tablespoon of butter into the pan, then turn off the heat. Place a layer of toasted bread pieces on the bottom.
Then spread half of the veggie mixture on top …
… then half of your grated Jarlsberg.
Add another layer of bread on top of all this, then the rest of the vegetables. In a bowl, whisk your 8 eggs together with 2 1/2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of mustard, then pour this over everything. Use a spatula to squish the bread down into the egg mixture so all the pieces are fully coated.
Now sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top …
… and bake the strata for 35-40 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
And then slice it up and serve!
There’s a lot of interested flavors that come together here: sourdough from the bread, rich vegetable flavors from the kale, mushrooms, and leeks, and the unique creaminess of the Jarlsberg cheese. When you bake all of this with lots of eggs, it holds up well as a custard-y, savory, almost pie-like meal. If you’ve never had strata before – and we hadn’t either, until we tried this recipe – this is a good version to try because it’s meat-free, it’s got good veggies and cheese, and most importantly it’s delicious!