1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for pan
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound broccoli rabe, florets and tender stems coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 cup chopped pitted calamata olives
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups half-and-half or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds homemade or packaged corn bread, cut into
2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (optional)
6 ounces grated Gruyère cheese (1 1/2 cups).
Oil a 9-by 13-inch baking dish. In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat; add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until broccoli rabe is very tender, about 3 minutes longer. (If mixture looks watery when rabe is done, let simmer uncovered for a minute to dry it out.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in roasted pepper and olives.
Make a custard by whisking together eggs, half-and-half or milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper.
Spread corn-bread cubes in prepared dish. Scatter vegetable mixture over corn bread. Dot with dollops of ricotta. Pour custard evenly over corn bread. Sprinkle with Gruyère. Cover baking dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
When ready to bake strata, remove it from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature while oven preheats to 350 degrees. Bake until firm and golden on top, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve hot or warm.
Serves 8 to 10 main-course servings or 15 side-dish servings.