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Breakfast Strata with Black Garlic Salt

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This recipe requires advanced preparation but comes together easily to form a hearty brunch for a crowd. A cross between stuffing and a frittata, the strata is ideal for using whatever ingredients you have on hand. To make sure that you don’t miss out on the flavor, we’ve used our all-time favorite infused salt – Black Garlic Salt. This salt adds sweet and savory notes of caramelized garlic, making it the perfect compliment to simple ingredients. Chopped celery, mushrooms, shaved brussels sprouts or some combination of these would be an excellent substitute for the greens in this recipe, just use 6 cups as your guide. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

Unsalted butter for greasing baking dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, or links with casings removed
1 cup finely chopped shallots or onions
1 large bunch kale, spinach, or chard, stems removed, washed, dried and roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
Jacobsen Salt Co. Black Garlic Salt, for seasoning
6 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry Black Peppercorns
6 1/2 cups cubed stale bread (3/4-inch)
3/4 cup grated Gruyère or Swiss cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan

PROCESS

Grease a 3-quart baking dish and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat and add the sausage. Sauté until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove the sausage to a bowl and set aside.

Add the shallots or onions to the sauté pan and add a generous pinch of black garlic salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if they start to brown too quickly.

Add the greens (or whichever vegetables you are using) to the pan, along with another big pinch of black garlic salt, and cook until they are just wilted but still bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Other vegetables should be cooked until just soft. Set the pan aside, off the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, nutmeg, and cracked pepper until smooth.

To assemble the strata, spread half of the bread cubes over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the sausage, and then spread half the greens over the sausage and bread. Sprinkle half of the cheeses evenly over the greens. Repeat with a second layer of each of the remaining ingredients. Carefully pour the egg mixture over everything in the dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Remove the strata from the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 350F and allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Remove the covering from the strata and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and the egg has set. Let the strata cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted only slightly from Food 52.

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