Gruyere and Spinach Strata


This is a great side or main dish which can be varied up with different ingredients.  You can combine asparagus with turkey, ham and swiss, pancetta and mushrooms… there are endless possibilities.  I prepared this as a side dish to a fish so I didn’t feel the need to include a protein.  It’s best to prepare the strata the night before and just pop it in the oven about 45 minutes before serving – I had an hour to prepare dinner so I cheated but it still came out delicious. 

 

Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, February 2003
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid (I used fresh spinach and blanched them)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups bread cut into 1-inch cubes (I used Sourdough, but French or Italian would work well)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Preparation Instructions

  1. Saute onion in butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until translucent. Add spinach, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and continue cooking for one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the grated Gruyere and grated Parmesan. Spread one third of the bread cubes in a buttered baking dish. Top with one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of cheese mixture. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.
  3. Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours (I cheated and soaked the bread in the milk and egg mixture instead of letting it sit overnight).
  4. The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.