Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata

Spinach and Gruyere strata.
This is an excellent recipe for a make-ahead weekend breakfast or brunch and is a great way to sneak some spinach into your diet.  
8 slices of Italian bread
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
½ cup dry white wine
6 ounces Gruyere cheese
6 large eggs
1 ¾ cups half and half
Salt and black pepper
Spinach and Gruyere strata - ingredients - Smell of Rosemary.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Place bread slices on the baking sheet in a single layer, and bake them until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes, turning bread over after 20 minutes baking time. Remove from the oven, and let it cool.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet, and cook shallots for about 3 minutes, until translucent. Squeeze the spinach until it is dry. Add the spinach to the skillet, and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. Move spinach and shallots mixture to a medium bowl and set aside to cool. Add wine to skillet and simmer until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. 
Spinach and Gruyere strata - ingredients - Smell of Rosemary.
In a medium bowl mix eggs, half and half, and reduced wine. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. 
Spinach and Gruyere strata - egg and half-and-half mixture - Smell of Rosemary.
To arrange strata:
Grease 8 inch square baking dish with 1 tablespoon of butter.
Spread lightly 2 tablespoons of remaining butter over dried bread. Arrange half of the slices on the bottom of prepared dish. Spread half of the spinach and shallot mixture over bread slices, and sprinkle ½ cup of Gruyere. 
Spinach and Gruyere strata - assembling - Smell of Rosemary.
 Repeat with remaining bread slices, spinach and  ½ cup of cheese.  
Spinach and Gruyere strata - assembling.
Pour egg mixture over dish.
Spinach and Gruyere strata - assembling - Smell of Rosemary.
 Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours before baking. 
Spinach and Gruyere strata - after resting overnight.
To bake strata, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove strata from refrigerate, and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, and sprinkle remaining ½ cup Gruyere cheese. Bake uncovered for 50 to 55 minutes until golden brown.
Spinach and Gruyere strata - after baking.  
Cool for 5 minutes and serve.
Spinach and Gruyere strata.

Inspired by a recipe found in The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook, 2011.

1 comment:

  1. This was amazing! I made it for brunch for a group of friends, and everyone was impressed. I don't cook often, but the instructions were extremely easy to follow. I will definitely be making this again and have already shared the recipe.