Spinach and Cheese Strata

The festive season is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate than with lots of yummy food! Strata casseroles are perfect for this time of year since they can be made in big batches the day before and customized to what you have on hand. This comforting recipe is also the perfect way to use up any leftovers you may have (bread, fruits, veggies, milk, cheese) before schools close for the holidays!

 

This recipe has been adapted from OnceUponAChef.com| Servings : 8 to 10

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 lb (454 g) chopped frozen spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 c. (2 L) whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (about 11 slices)
  • 2 (500 mL) grated cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, feta — whatever cheese you’d like!)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2¾ c. (680 mL) milk, milk alternative or half-and-half
  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
  • ¾ tsp. (3.75 mL) black pepper
  • ¼ (1.25 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Dijon mustard(optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and drained spinach, and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside.
  2. Grease a 9′ x 13′ (23 cm x 33 cm) baking dish. Spread a third of the bread cubes in the dish and top evenly with a third of the onion-spinach mixture. Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Repeat layering twice, ending with cheese.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and Dijon (if using) and whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata. Cover the strata with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Bake the strata, uncovered, until puffed, set and golden brown all over top, 70–75 minutes. Let stand 10–15 minutes before serving.

 

Try customizing this recipe by substituting different vegetables for the spinach (roasted squash cubes, steamed broccoli, chopped peppers). You can also try experimenting with a sweet variation by skipping the onion, garlic, cheese and mustard and adding in:

  • 3 sliced bananas, ½ c. pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, ⅓ sugar

OR

  • 3 sliced apples, ½ c. raisins, ⅓ c. brown sugar


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