Eggs, cheese, and veggies — these may be simple ingredients, but don’t let that fool you. After some quick chopping, shredding, whisking, and spicing, this recipe turns these humble ingredients into a healthy and hearty one-dish meal. I like to think of strata as a “rustic” inside-out quiche — instead of painstakingly making a dough, rolling it out, and carefully pushing it into a pie plate, with strata you just slice up some bread and toss it with the egg-and-cheese mixture. The one downside? You no longer have an excuse to throw away stale bread.
Beet Greens Strata
Recipe from Root to Stalk Cooking, by Tara Duggan
1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
Greens from 1 bunch beets, washed
½ cup finely minced onion, leek, or green onion (white and light green parts)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
3 cups bread such as walnut bread, artisan whole wheat, or country bread (preferably day-old or stale), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
Grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with olive oil.
As you would with chard, remove the stems from the beet leaves. Thinly slice the stems and cut the leaves into ribbons. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and beet stems and cook, stirring frequently, until partly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the leaves a few handfuls at a time and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook until the greens and stems are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grindings of pepper. Whisk until smooth.
In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the greens and half of the cheese. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan. Slowly pour the egg mixture over so that the bread is evenly coated. Poke down any pieces of bread that can be further nestled in the custard, then top with the remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Bring the strata to room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake until the custard is set, the casserole is bubbly, and you can’t see any liquid when you press the bread lightly, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
To read a recipe and order your copy of Root to Stalk Cooking, check out our Scribd excerpt, below.