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Category: Lunch and Dinner

Kale & Butternut Squash Strata

Ingredients:
  • ½ tablespoons butter (I use Earth Balance buttery spread)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • extra virgin olive oil, for coating vegetables and pan
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound kale, ribs discarded and leaves chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • seat salt/ crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (I use So, coconut milk creamer)
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 slices multi-grain bread (I like to use frozen Ezekeil), cubed
  • 1 handful of freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup Gruyere cheese (or cheese of choice), shredded
Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425° and grease a cookie sheet, toss butternut squash in olive oil, sprinkle sea salt and bake for about 25 minutes, tossing once, until the squash is just tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil, add the sliced onions, season with salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Scrape the onions into a bowl.

Next, using the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the kale, garlic, crushed red pepper and 1 teaspoon of the thyme and season with salt. Cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until the kale is wilted and just tender, about 5 minutes. Scrape the kale into the bowl with the cooked onions.

Prepare the sauce: melt the butter in the saucepan until melted, add flour and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until a light golden paste forms, 3 minutes. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk and cook, whisking, until very thick and no floury taste remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the coconut cream, crème fraîche, agave, 1 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the remaining milk. Finally, beat the eggs in the sauce, add the Gruyere and pour over all the veggies in the larger bowl and coat.

Add the pieces of bread to the vegetables and mix well.

Pour the strata mixture into the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the Parmesean cheese on the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, bake for about 50 minutes (consider raising temp to 475 for the last 10 minutes to give strata a golden brown crust).

Tips:

This one takes a bit more time, feel free to prepare the dish the night before refrigerate and bake when ready. Not only great for dinner, but this is a beautiful and tasty brunch dish as well!