This weekend I had the pleasure of making brunch for my family (Mom was in town!)… this was the second brunch I’ve hosted and I think it went much smoother than the first. My main goal was to not have to do too much cooking in the morning (as B will tell you, I can become a stress case the morning of)… Here’s the menu:
Spinach Gruyere Strata
I made a quick little bread for jam and butter when people arrived and also had some mimosas, coffee, and tea. Easy and delicious. I really feel brunch is one of the best meals ever created. I wish we brunched every day. It’s mostly just giant breakfast. And personally, I believe breakfast is the only meal worth paying for…
All of the recipes are forthcoming but today, we’re talking strata. I didn’t know what strata was for most of my life. In fact, the only reason I ever looked up a recipe for it was, embarrassingly, The Family Stone. Have you seen it? It’s a chick flick. That takes place at Christmas. (My favorite things!). Sarah Jessica Parker makes a strata for Christmas brunch that ends up on the floor… but the real point is that strata is a perfect brunch item. You prepare it the day before. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and absorb lots of goodness. Stick in the oven in the morning and voila! Strata!
Adapted from here:
1 large chopped onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess juices
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 3/4 cups milk
2 tbs. Dijon mustard
2 cups grated gruyere
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 pound french bread cubed
Grease a three quart baking dish. Set aside.
Saute the onions until translucent with some salt and pepper (about 5-7 minutes). Add nutmeg, saute about a minute more. Add spinach until warmed through. Set aside.
Whisk eggs, milk, and dijon in a large bowl. Transfer about half to a liquid measuring cup or other sort of pitcher that will make it easier to pour.
Layer 1/3 bread cubes followed by 1/3 spinach and onion mixture, and then 1/3 each cheese. Continue layering, finishing with the cheeses. Then, carefully pour the egg mixture over the layers. I didn’t end up using all of it, be careful not to over-fill. But everyone’s dish is a little different. Trust your judgment.
Cover with saran wrap or aluminum foil and put in fridge overnight (at least 8 hours).
In the morning, take the dish out of the fridge and let rest for about 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered for 45-55 minutes until the strata is “puffed” and slightly golden.
Eat it up!