Monday, April 13, 2009

Herbed Spinach and Goat Cheese Strata

A few people asked for the recipe we had for Easter Brunch, and I am enthusiastically sharing it here. This stuff is so good that it makes me want to go make another batch!

This recipe came from our local paper, courtesy of Executive Chef Jon Ashton. You can prepare it the night before and pop in the oven in the morning, or let stand a couple hours and bake. It’s also great for dinner with a big green salad.

1 10 ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, divided
Coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups rustic bread, such as Ciabatta (about a 1-pound loaf), cubed (We used a boule.)
1 cup crumbled goat cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2-3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
8 eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (We used a pinch of dried rosemary.)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried

Place thawed spinach in colander and squeeze out excess water. Chop finely.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in spinach; remove from heat.

Toss bread cubes, spinach mixture and cheeses together in a large bowl. Place mixture in a buttered
13x 9-inch baking dish or 3-quart gratin dish.

Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and herbs. Add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Pour evenly over bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, remove strata from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake uncovered, about 45 minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

Notes: I failed to recognize that this was supposed to sit overnight in the fridge. When I made it Easter morning, I mixed it up pretty well until the bread soaked up most of the liquid, then popped it in the oven, and it turned out just fine. We left the onions out too.


Judy S. said...

This does sound like a yummy variation of what we call "sausage souffle," the dish we have on Christmas morning. The fact that it's made the day before and ready to cook when we get up is just perfect. Thanks for sharing; I've already copied and printed it off!

Lurline said...

Looks wonderful, thanks - I have filed it in Favourites/Recipes! Years ago I used to prepare a dish similar and make it the night before ready for breakfast - the family loved it, but I can't find the recipe now, so am looking forward to trying this! Would be wonderful when I am having Girlfriends! for lunch!
Hugs - Lurline♥

LC said...

Thanks for printing this. It sounds yummy and I like the make-ahead aspect for holiday eating!!