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Make-Ahead Bacon and Kale Strata


Assemble the strata on Christmas Eve and pop in the oven Christmas morning. The Schaffers like to use a rich egg bread like challah or brioche, but any artisan white bread will work, such as French or cibatta.

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  • 8 slices smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound kale, chard, greens or spinach, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 12 large eggs
  • 8 cups challah bread or brioche cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese



Step 1

Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet, sauté bacon and leeks until bacon is crisp and leeks are tender, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, kale, dates, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until kale is wilted. (You may need to add the kale in batches.)

Combine half-and-half and eggs in a large bowl. Beat until blended. Stir in bread cubes, Parmgiano Reggiano cheese, rosemary and 1 cup Gruyere. Add vegetable mixture and stir well.

Pour egg mixture into baking dish. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Remove strata from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Top with remaining ½ cup Gruyere.

Bake 40 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle of the strata comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10

Per serving: 450 calories, 24g fat, 310mg chol., 23g prot., 38g carbs., 3g fiber, 830mg sodium.

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