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Butternut Squash and Kale Strata

Butternut Squash and Kale Strata
Serves 8
Strata is traditionally served for breakfast or brunch, but it can make for a wonderful meal any time of day—just serve with a green salad for a hearty, filling feast.
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  2. 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  3. Kosher salt, to taste
  4. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  7. Pinch red pepper flakes
  8. 12 ounces kale, ribs discarded and leaves chopped
  9. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  10. ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  11. 2½ cups whole milk, divided
  12. 1 cup heavy cream
  13. ½ cup sour cream
  14. 8 large eggs
  15. 1-pound loaf crusty multigrain bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  16. 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and diced
  17. 1 cup grated smoked cheddar cheese, divided
  1. ►Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
  2. ►Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and kale. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, tossing, until kale is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl to cool.
  3. ►Melt butter in same skillet. Add flour, reduce heat to medium, and cook, whisking constantly, until a light golden paste forms. Whisk in 1 cup milk, season with salt and pepper, and cook, whisking, until mixture is very thick and no floury taste remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream, sour cream, and remaining 1½ cups milk. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then whisk eggs into mixture.
  4. ►Heat oven to 325°F. Generously grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan.
  5. ►Combine kale mixture, milk mixture, bread, butternut squash, and ½ cup smoked cheddar in a large bowl. Mix well and pour strata mixture into prepared baking dish. Let stand for 30 minutes, pressing down bread occasionally.
  6. ►Bake strata for 55 minutes to 1 hour, until almost set. Increase oven temperature to 475°F. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup cheese on top and bake for about 10 minutes more, until top is lightly browned. Let strata stand for 15 minutes before serving.
culture: the word on cheese https://culturecheesemag.com/
Photographed by Jennifer Silverberg.

Cassy Vires

Cassy is an award-winning chef, culinary educator, and avid baker located in St. Louis, MO.

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