i've been finding these great recipes that are reshaping the way i prepare breakfast/brunch for guests. we had my cousin and his wife over last saturday for brunch and i made this spinach and cheese strata, another hit from smitten kitchen. the key flavor that makes it is the dijon. my top started browning in about 10 minutes, so i laid aluminum foil on top for the remainder of the baking time.
it was wonderful and a total repeat. the best part is that you make it the night before, just like the overnight french toast. we ate it with some fresh squeezed orange juice and maple bacon.
Spinach and Cheese Strata
Adapted from Gourmet, February 2003
Serves 6 to 8
1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze all excess liquid, & 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 freshly grated 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, heavy 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.
Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of bread cubes,one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice 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 strata for eat least 8 hours or up to a 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.