For an easy brunch main, assemble this Italian-style Ham & Rapini Strata the day before serving.
– 1 small bunch or 1/2 large bunch rapini, trimmed
– 3 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 small onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, chopped
– 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham
– 3 tbsp. chopped sundried tomatoes (packed in oil)
– 3 tbsp. chopped basil
– 2 cups grated fontina or provolone
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 8 cups 1-inch bread cubes (about 1 French or Italian style loaf)
– 12 eggs
– 2 cups milk
– 2 cups whipping cream (35%)
– 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, for garnishing
– Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
– Hot pepper oil, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil or butter a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish.
Blanch rapini in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well. Chop into bite size pieces and pat dry. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and garlic are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Set aside.
Add rapini, onion mixture, ham, sundried tomatoes, basil, fontina and Parmesan to large bowl. Toss. Add bread and toss. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat eggs until combined. Whisk in milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Let stand until bread absorbs all the egg mixture, about 10 to 15 minutes. (To make-ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.)
Bake until strata is set, and top springs back lightly when touched, about 1 hour.
Garnish with basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with hot pepper oil, if desired.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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