Spinach and Cheese Strata
I wasn’t even sure what a strata was but I was very intrigued by this recipe. It’s filled with eggs, bread cubes, spinach, and two different kinds of cheeses so what’s not to like? And the best part about this recipe is that you make it 8 hours in advance so when you’re ready to eat, you can just pop it in the oven and voila, dinner is served.
Now a strata is actually more of a brunch dish, and because it’s has an egg base, it’s very similar to a quiche or frittata. The main ingredients of a strata are obviously the eggs, bread, and cheese, which is then layered on top of one another. It can include meat or vegetables but since there’s so much going on, I feel like there’s not much need for meat in this kind of dish.
I adapted the recipe a bit and used fresh spinach instead of frozen but other than that, I followed the recipe exactly as is and it turned out great. The bread cubes were soggy with all that juicy goodness which was then surrounded by melted cheese and a nice hearty spinach mixture. The only problem with this dish is that it serves at least 8 people and I made it for 2 so we were stuck with a ton of leftovers. But since this is a freezer-friendly recipe, I portioned them into individual servings and popped them in the freezer, which would come in real handy when I don’t have the time to make a full meal.
Spinach and Cheese Strata (adapted from Annie’s Eats):
Yields 6-8 servings
- 3 (6 oz) packages baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere
- 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 9 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
Heat 3 tablespoons water in a saucepan over high heat. Add the spinach and shake the pan until spinach has wilted; drain well.
Melt butter in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the spinach and stir until well combined; set aside.
Layer the bottom of the baking dish with one third of the bread cubes.
Top with one third of the spinach mixture.
Top with one third of each of the cheeses. Repeat 2 more times with bread cubes, spinach mixture, and each of the cheeses.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish using a glass measuring cup. (I made a huge mess trying to pour this from my mixing bowl until I realized at the very end that I could’ve easily used a mess-free glass measuring cup.)
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Place into oven and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.