Spinach and Mushroom Strata

Strata

Well that lasted. I want to blame the belated post this week on the newest addition to the household. Everybody, meet Geoffery. A new dog meant that my free time suddenly went *poof*. So, here we are.

Geoffery

Hi, everybody

A strata is a savory breakfast bread pudding made with alternating layers (or “strata”… get it?) of cubed bread, filling and egg. Because this kind of recipe needs to rest in order to set fully, it is best to make it night before. That means that, of course,  I almost never get around to making one because, lets face it, who wants to do breakfast dishes right after finishing cleaning up from dinner? I first came across this dish at my first trip up to visit Will’s parents and it quickly rocketed to the top of my preferred breakfast food list.

Despite the pre-planing required to make a good strata, it can easily give two people a week’s worth of breakfasts or (made ahead, of course) can be easily re-heated to feed a crowd

Spinach and Mushroom Strata:

(makes 12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Loaf Crusty Bread (such as a baguette), cut into 1″ cubes
  • 12 Large Eggs
  • 2 Cups Soy Milk  or Lactaid(or regular milk if you are not lactose-impaired)
  • 3/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesean or Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 8 oz package Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 10 oz package Fresh Spinach
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

Saute mushrooms (in batches, if needed) in 1 tsp oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan until well browned and almost cooked through. Add spinach and garlic  along with a bit of salt and pepper (~1/8 tsp each) and lower the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until mushrooms are finished and spinach is fully wilted. Set aside

Beat together eggs and milk in a large bowl until fully combined. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper (~1/4 tsp each)

In a greased baking pan, layer 1/2 of the vegetable mixture over 1/2 of the bread and pour over that 1/2 of the egg mixture. Repeat. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 45 minutes or until strata is fully set and the top is well browned.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure to set the strata out at room temperature while the oven is heating. The temperature shock of moving directly from the fridge to the hot oven ( a difference of ~315 F or 157 C) could cause crack propagation in your Pyrex. This means a gross mess all over your oven and a distinct lack of yummy breakfast. Don’t lose your breakfast. Let the glass warm up a bit.

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