Confession: When I first saw the idea for this recipe, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I mean butternut squash, greens and eggs? It sounded gross. But when I realized I kept going back to the basic recipe AND I conveniently had all the ingredients…and no other great ideas for dinner, I figured I may as well give it a try. BIG SURPRISE! It turned out absolutely delicious! And the leftovers make for an awesome breakfast. Woot!
Butternut Squash Strata Serves 6-8 (entree-sized portions)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into approximate 2″ cubes (roughly 6 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground salt
7 large eggs
1 1/2 cup rice milk (or almond or cow or whatever you prefer)
1 cup half-n-half (or substitute almond, rice or coconut milk and add 2 tablespoons butter)
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 day-old baguette torn into 1″ chunks (I cut mine as it was faster. Can also substitute any dried out old bread you want to use up.)
1 cup chopped dry onion
4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 habanero, seeded and minced
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 bunches kale or other greens, washed and chopped into 2″ pieces (I used pumpkin greens I got at the Farmer’s Market. Delish!)
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with one tablespoon olive oil in a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and place in oven to bake till tender, turning with spatula periodically, 20 to 25 minutes.
Whisk eggs, milks/half-n-half, wine, mustard and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Add dried bread pieces; fold gently into egg mixture. Let soak 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over a moderately high flame. Add onions, peppers and garlic and saute till soft. Watch closely as the garlic can burn quickly. Remove from the pan and add another teaspoon of olive oil and throw in the greens, stirring gently until the greens are wilted but still bright green (about 5 minutes. The greens should still be slightly crunchy. Don’t cook them to death! Add the onions/peppers/garlic mix back into the pan and gently stir to mix.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. If you are going to be making the strata in a glass dish, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees.
Generously butter a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the bread that has been soaking in the egg mixture into the baking dish, arranging the chunks of bread to basically cover the bottom evenly. Spoon the baked squash over the top of the bread. Add a layer of half of the sauteed greens mixture followed by a layer of cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread pieces, remaining greens and part of the remaining cheese. Pour the leftover eggs/milk mixture gently over the entire assemblage. Top the casserole dish with a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with olive oil so it doesn’t stick to the top of the strata when cooking. Place in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.
After it has been baking for 20 minutes, pull off the foil, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and place back into the oven to finish baking, approximately 20 to 25 more minutes. The egg mixture should be set and the bread pieces should be springy to the touch. If you want it more browned, feel free to run it under a broiler watching it very carefully so it doesn’t burn. Let the strata sit for 5 minutes and serve with a green veggie or a salad. Yum yum. 🙂