Spinach and Cheese Strata
I wish I had a good story about this strata. In my ideal world it would have something to do with having company for brunch, planning a wonderful meal, and enjoying food and fellowship on a lazy Saturday morning . Alas, I have no such story. The only story I have is Mike and I sharing a hurried breakfast before he had to rush off to work (on a Saturday!) and me valiantly trying to figure out a way to make this strata look just as good in pictures as it tasted. (I think I failed).
What I can tell you, however, is that we both loved this strata. I’ve been wanting to try it for months now but finally planned it for a random Saturday morning a week before Christmas. I figured if we liked it, I could make it again for a special Christmas breakfast. This egg dish, overflowing with melty cheese, healthy spinach, and crusty french bread is absolutely wonderful. If you have time to assemble it the day before, this really would make a great breakfast on Christmas morning.
Spinach and Cheese Strata
1 -2 (10 ounce) packages fresh spinach, roughly chopped (depending on how much spinach you want. I prefer 2!)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
6 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups) (I cheated and used Fontina - Gruyere was too expensive!)
2 ounces finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion with 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg until soft. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Butter a 3 quart baking dish. Spread one third of the bread cubes in the dish. Then add one-third of the spinach mixture and one-third of the cheeses. Repeat these layers twice, using all of the bread, spinach and cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour evenly over the bread mixture in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for eat least 8 hours.
When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 and let the strata stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Bake, uncovered, until completely cooked, 45 to 55 minutes. The strata should be golden brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
*Note: I cut the recipe in half and baked it in the 8x8 dish you see in the pictures above.
adapted, just barely, from Smitten Kitchen
This is just lovely! Great idea!
I make this for Christmas breakfast, and it’s an annual hit with less stress and distraction than traditional menus. I love that in between coffee and presents and showers, you just have to pop it out of the fridge and into the oven.
I heart stratas.
Even though every time I make them hubby says, “What? Eric Estrada?” 🙂
We always had something similar on every Christmas morning. The best 🙂
This looks so good, Megan! We always have Christmas Eggs on Christmas morning, but maybe we’ll save this one for New Years? I love the spinach cheese combo. Awesome. Hope you have a blessed Christmas!
I think your pictures came out beautiful!! The strata looks AND sounds amazing!!
You made spinach look gorgeous!!
I had to laugh when I clicked on this, I read it as Spinach and Cheese Santa at first 🙂 Apparently I am a little obsessed with Christmas!
this sounds wonderful!
Awesome! I am trying this next week. And your pictures looked beautiful AND delicious to me!
‘melty cheese’ 🙂 That makes me happy. This is so perfect for brunch or Christmas morning! Thanks for sharing.
That’s beautiful. I love the spinach.
I love Strata and always make for Christmas morning – the key is that you have to let it soak overnight or the bread will not be like a crust. Here is my recipe if you ever want to try it – http://delishhh.com/2011/05/30/strata/
NOW this is a gorgeous breakfast dish!
This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing!
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