Mom Approved Strata

The theme this week is simplicity. Now, when applying this theme to Mother’s Day, I find it most useful to file this strata in the ‘make ahead’ folder. Anything I can make a day in advance is a no-brainer and as simple as it gets. I can be as messy, as slow, and a chill as I want. No one is there to see my kitchen dance moves or my favorite kitchen uniform – sweatpants. Now, fast forward to brunch. Mom will love this strata with all its vegetable healthyishness and lovely presentation. Making this the day before means you had time to shower and caffeinate in the morning before serving, it’s a real win/win brunch situation.

prosciutto-goat-cheese-strata-3I love recipes like this because of how easy it is substitute and add ingredients. Can’t find rapini? Use another green. Don’t want to add prosciutto? Great, you’re the boss. Be your own strata spirit guide and follow your own path. Just keep these few tips in mind:

  • prosciutto-goat-cheese-strata-4-1Season as you go – Since this is finished in the oven, there’s no way to season to taste right before serving. Make sure your vegetables of choice and egg mixture are both seasoned before adding them to your baking dish.
  • No raw, watery vegetables – I love a ripe tomato as much, or more, than the next person. Sadly, they don’t belong here if you’re just tossing them in willy nilly. Any and all vegetable matter should be roasted or sauteed in advance so you don’t end up with soupy strata. Mom wouldn’t like that.
  • Don’t panic about browning the top – From a fellow home cook with a possibly possessed oven, don’t sweat it. If the top is browning unevenly, make nice with your broiler to even things out once your strata is set in the center. If you think things are moving too quickly, pop some foul over the top until you’re ready to end your strata’s relationship with your oven.

There you go. More simple. I think I’m getting the hang of this.

prosciutto-goat-cheese-strata-1Rapini and Prosciutto Strata
Serves 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound rapini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 loaf crusty bread, sliced
  • 10 thin slices prosciutto
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (use chevre, feta, or any cheese of your choosing)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add rapini and garlic and saute. Remove rapini to a bowl and set aside.

Grease the bottom of a baking dish with butter and line with 1 layer of bread, tearing some slices to fit. Arrange half of prosciutto evenly over bread. Sprinkle half of goat cheese over and sprinkle with half of the sauteed rapini. Top with second layer of bread. Layer remaining prosciutto, goat cheese, and rapini atop bread. Cut remaining bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Sprinkle over top.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, and salt in bowl. Season with pepper. Pour egg mixture over strata; press down on bread with spatula. Drizzle melted butter over strata. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Uncover strata and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Bake until center is set, about 1 hour. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler. Place strata under broiler until top is golden, about 30 seconds. Cut into squares and serve.

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