If you’ve seen the holiday movie Family Stone as many times as I have (and love it as much as I do), then when you read the word “strata” in the title of this post, you probably immediately envisioned the disastrious kitchen scene near the end of the movie. Sarah Jessica Parker attempts to make this traditional Christmas dish for her boyfriend’s family, only to have the entire pan spill on top of her, and family members one by one topple onto the kitchen floor. It’s an endearing scene in the movie, not to mention that it always had me wondering what exactly went into this dish called strata. So when I stumbled across this recipe from Eats Well With Others, I became determined to whip up a variation on this dish with a few flavorful additions of my own.
This recipe is perfect for preparing on Christmas Eve (if you have extra time of course) and popping it into the oven first thing Christmas morning. That way, breakfast is ready to enjoy after opening presents. The flavors of butternut squash, broccoli (one of my modifications to the original recipe) and cheese melt in your mouth, and go equally well with coffee or mimosas. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash and Broccoli Savory Strata
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsps brown sugar
- 2 large bunches of brocolini, trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ Tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 2½ cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- 1 tsp sugar
- 8 large eggs
- ¾-pound baguette, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsps fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Toss the butternut squash cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. Add in the onions, season with salt, and cook over low heat. Add in the brown sugar and stir occasionally until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
4. In the same pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the kale, garlic, and red pepper flakes, and sauté until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Combine with the onions.
5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the flour and, whisking constantly, cook for about 3 minutes, until a light golden paste forms. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream, crème fraiche, sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and the remaining milk. Let cool.
6. Beat the eggs into the béchamel. Pour into a large bowl with the bread cubes, butternut squash, kale, and onions. Add ½ cup parmesan cheese. Mix well.
7. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Let sit for about 30 minutes, pressing the bread cubes into the milk every 10 minutes so they soak it up. Add about 2 tablespoons thyme leaves on top for flavor and garnish.
8. Bake for 55 minutes, until almost set. Increase the oven temp to 475 degrees. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese over the top of the strata, and add ¼ cracked black pepper. Then bake for about 10 more minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Mmmm… I promise this strata is as good as it looks. When it bakes, the parmesan cheese inside makes the veggies stick together and get all ooey gooey. If you give it a try, let me know what you think!
What’s your traditional Christmas morning breakfast dish?