I will be posting a few recipes this week, that were favorites among guests at the brunch. Below is a recipe for Spinach and Cheese Strata. This is similar to a savory bread pudding. It is creamy and fluffy in the middle from the baked eggs and melted cheese and the top bakes to a crispy perfection. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
|Layla and Aunt Kim|
Spinach and Cheese Strata
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups onion, finely chopped
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. pepper, divided
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. coarsely grated Gruyere (about 2 cups)
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 2/3 cup)
9 large eggs
2¾ cup milk
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan and saute until soft; about 5 minutes. Add in 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and nutmeg; cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach. Set aside.
Butter the inside of a baking dish (2 1/2-3 qt). Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes. Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses. Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese.
In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake uncovered until golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
Source: Annie-eats.com, originally from Gourmet, February 2003