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Deb For a Day: Spinach and Cheese Strata

March 31, 2010

by Emily

I love Deb’s can-do and do-ahead spirit in her post about hosting brunch and sleeping in.  While I didn’t exactly host brunch this past Sunday, this strata was the perfect contribution for a quick girls’ getaway to Brenham, Texas.  I prepared this in advance on Saturday morning before we made the hour trip northwest of Houston and it not only traveled well, it was a much more satisfying brunch option following a fun evening of too much wine and lots and lots of giggles than plain eggs and toast would have been. So while there was no hosting of brunch, we did all sleep in … and dreamt of Brenham’s Blue Bell Ice Cream and Round Top’s antique treasure hunt right around the corner.

Spinach and Cheese Strata
inspired by Deb (of course!) at Smitten Kitchen

1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of all excess liquid, and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
6 ounces coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 ounces finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Sauté onion in butter in a large skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and nutmeg and continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat, and set aside.

Butter 3-quart ceramic baking dish (I imagine a Pyrex would work well, too) and spread 1/3 of the bread cubes along the bottom. Top with 1/3 of spinach mixture and 1/3 of each cheese. Repeat layering two times (or as many times as possible, depending on your dish and cutting skills – I could only make 2 layers!) with remaining bread, spinach, and cheese.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours – one full day.

The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Charlotte permalink
    July 20, 2010 11:05 am

    A friend of mine’s mom has cancer and is very ill right now- I’m going to try and bring them something once a week for dinner… like lasagna, maybe quiche- do you have any recipes that would be good for this? Any suggestions you have would be great!

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