New Meal Monday: Spinach & Mushroom Strata

The Holidays are a busy time, in part because our desire to celebrate with family and friends leads to a wide-variety of gatherings. Dinners, cocktail parties, lunches and brunches can all be fun ways to get together and enjoy time with the people we care about.  We love hosting an occasional brunch, but one of the challenges with a morning meal is needing to get-up early to get the preparation done first thing in the morning.  That's a big part of what makes the strata an ideal dish for the holiday brunch host! While you could technically make a strata and cook it right away, allowing the bread to sit in its egg mixture overnight really allows the bread to absorb the mixture and turn golden while baking.  Another great thing about this dish is that while the core of the dish should be consistent (eggs, milk, half-and-half) you can really play around with the other ingredients.  We wanted to use fresh bread because we thought it'd be best, you could easily use leftover bread of various kinds. We picked Gruyere because we thought that would be a nice flavor, but any cheese that melts easily and consistently would work fine.  The point is, you can get creative and crazy, or you could just throw together what you have in your fridge! (In fact, that's really how we decided to go with mushrooms and spinach...).  An easy, delicious egg dish you can prepare the night before is a good recipe for a successful holiday brunch!

What you'll need:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup half-and-half
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Gruyere cheese
  • 2 Cups spinach
  • 1/3 Cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 2.5 packed cups of fresh bread, torn into about 1" squares

How you'll do it:

  1. Spray a small baking dish or pie dish (about 1.5-2qt capacity) and set aside
  2. Spread bread evenly across baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, half-and-half, salt pepper & nutmeg.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, spinach and mushroom.
  5. Pour mixture evenly over bread, cover and refrigerate over night.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350F and let strata sit a room temperature for 15-20 minutes while oven pre-heats.
  7. Bake strata, covered with foil, for 35 min. Uncover and bake till strata is puffed and turning golden-brown (about 15-20 min).
  8. Let sit for about 10 min and enjoy!