Broccoli Rabe, Pesto and Smoked Mozzarella Strata

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Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/2 hour



Salt to taste

3/4 lb broccoli rabe, thick stems removed

oil for baking dish

5-7 slices sourdough bread, 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup prepared pesto

1 1/2 cup shredded smoked mozzarella or fontina cheese

1 cup milk

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 eggs

2 tsp Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then squeeze out as much water as possible. Coarsely chop the broccoli rabe.

Generously oil a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Place a few slices of the bread in the bottom of the prepared dish, cutting them as necessary to make an even layer. Spread the broccoli rabe evenly over the bread. Dollop the pesto over the broccoli rabe, spacing it evenly. Scatter with 3/4 cup of the cheese and top with the remaining bread, again cutting to fit.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, mustard, the 1/2 tsp. salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Whisk vigorously until smooth. Pour over the bread and use the back of a large spoon to press the bread down into the egg mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 350°F.

Press the bread down into the egg mixture after about 15 minutes and again just before placing in the oven. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake until the strata is puffed, golden and crisp, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.