Monday, April 5, 2010

Spinach & Cheese Strata

I've been thinking about what to make for Easter for the last week or two. Easter is a tricky holiday for me because I don't eat a lot of meat traditionally cooked on Easter (i.e., ham, lamb, pork). So I thought maybe I'll do something Italian, after all, my family always has manicotti with their ham on Easter. Somehow it clicked that I was meant to make brunch instead of dinner for Easter. I'm happy I had this idea because,in my opinion, everything turned out really well. 

Strata is a perfect dish to make when you're looking to have everything done ahead of time. Strata needs to sit for at least 8hrs in the refrigerator prior to baking. There are so many things you can do with strata. I found this recipe while browsing tastespotting for breakfast/brunch ideas. The recipe comes from February 2003 issue of Gourmet Magazine. This recipe had great reviews and after making it I couldn't agree more!

You can find the recipe below. I used 16 oz of spinach and omitted the Dijon mustard. After reading some reviews, I gathered that the mustard flavor was too powerful in this dish. Feel free to add it in and let me know your thoughts. Keep this recipe in mind for your next brunch.

1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach, thawed
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 (1 inch) French or Italian bread (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

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