Sun-dried Tomato and Kale Strata

There are times when my fridge and freezer are full of odds and ends, little bits of leftovers from various meals that have been hanging around a week or two. There are a couple ways to go at this point, pasta is always a good way to "clean the fridge," but recently I've been going another of my favorite routes, eggs! I've done frittatas, omelettes, and scrambles, but most recently I also needed to use up a couple of weeks worth of bread ends that have been floating around the freezer. Strata - here I come! 

Strata's are great; a full meal all in one pan. And you can basically put whatever ingredients you want in them. All you need are some bread cubes and eggs, then let your imagination go wild! I really enjoyed the sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta in this version. The creamy ricotta and the sweet tomatoes are a lovely combination, I added in some finely chopped leftover kale and called it good! This is a perfect lunch to make ahead and eat all week. Super easy to grab and go in the morning. You can eat it for breakfast or lunch, or even dinner. Super versatile, healthy and delicious! 

 
 

Sun-Dried Tomato and Kale Strata
Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2-3 cups bread ends, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-2 cups kale, chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta

Directions
Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.

Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Spread the bread, tomatoes, and kale evenly in the baking dish. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread cubes. Press the bread down into the eggs to ensure it is all moistened with the egg. Spoon dollops of the ricotta evenly over the whole dish. 

Place in preheated oven and bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes. Let set for 5-10 minutes before slicing to enjoy hot, or let the dish cool to warm or even room temperature before digging in. You can also let cool and place in the fridge. If you choose to refrigerate, let come back up to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before eating. 
 

Broccoli Kale Pesto

I know there are a lot of broccoli stem haters out there. Honestly, I'm not one of them, I've found that as long as the tough outside layer is cut off at least a little bit that they roast up quite well. However, I've come up with a new use for them, and if you are in the broccoli stem hater camp this one is for you. 

For this broccoli kale pesto I took all the stems from one bunch of broccoli, boiled them up until nice and soft, and processed them with some kale and garlic to make a vibrant, healthy, and delicious spread or sauce. I thought the broccoli flavor was quite mild so if that worries you, have no fear. The combination of the broccoli with the kale was a perfect match. The kale brightened up the color of the pesto, and the combo of the two veggies helped mellow the flavors of both resulting in a nicely balanced sauce. With the punch of the raw garlic added in as well, this sauce turned into a beautiful, healthy and delicious way to amp up a sandwich, a batch of eggs, or a bowl of pasta. It is super versatile and really can be used in just about anything you might possibly imagine. 

Like most pestos and other sauces, this recipe is very versatile. If you want to add more kale, go for it, most broccoli, why not? Not a fan of raw garlic, try roasting some up before you throw it in. I used sunflower seeds to add some nuttiness, but any other nut would work too, almonds, walnuts, whatever you might have. I didn't have much cheese when I made this but I would love to try adding some salty parmesan, a handful of feta, or my favorite - creamy and delicious goat cheese. I don't think any of these various combinations can be bad. Broccoli is definitely going on the shopping list very soon. 

Broccoli Kale Pesto

Ingredients

  • Stems from 1 head broccoli
  • 3-4 stalks Kale
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Lemon juice from half a large lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil, 2-4 tablespoons

Directions

Boil broccoli stems in salted water until very tender, 20-30, drain any leftover water.

Add broccoli to the food processor along with the kale, garlic lemon juice, some salt and the sunflower seeds. Pulse a few times to coursely chop. With the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream until the mixture turns into a smooth sauce with your desired consistency. It's not an exact science, just do what looks and tastes good to you. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally as needed. Taste, and add more salt if needed. 

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Quiche is one of those things that I really like, but for whatever reason don't seem to make as often as I should. Not only is it delicious, but it is super versatile, you can really put whatever you want in it. This winter my sister and I signed up for a winter CSA. We've gotten the first 2 weeks now and we're loving it. It is so much fun to go pick up our bag of fresh veggies every week, wondering what we'll get and what we'll be able to make with it. This past week we got some Swiss chard which I have never actually worked with before, but now I know I like a lot! First I made a Swiss chard pizza with roasted garlic and mozzarella. It was a wonderful combination, something I'll be doing again. With the chard we had left, I whipped together a quiche with my healthy-ish whole wheat olive oil tart crust. It was the perfect light and delicious Sunday afternoon lunch, all I needed was a salad of fall greens on the side, yum!

Swiss Chard Quiche with Cheddar and Green Onion

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of Olive Oil Tart Crust
  • 2 cups half and half (or mixture of half and half and milk)
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • bunch of Swiss chard
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

Directions

Blind bake the tart crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. 

While that is baking prepare the filling. In a large measuring cup or a large container with a pour spout, whisk together the half and half, eggs, salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined and set aside. 

Mince the garlic, thinly slice the green onions and roughly chop the Swiss chard. Heat a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a saut√© pan and add the onions, garlic and chard. Cook until the chard is wilted and the onions and garlic are nice and fragrant. 

When you are ready to assemble the quiche, layer the chard mixture and cheese in the bottom of the tart shell. Stir the custard and pour it over the quiche mixture, fill in the pan to within 1/8 inch of the top of the pastry. Don't overfill, or the custard will run out of the crust during baking.

Bake the quiche for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges of the filing begin to puff up and the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan. Place the sheet pan on a wire rack to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the quiche from the pan. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Leftover may be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until heated through.