Food

Gruyere, spinach and sourdough make this simple strata a real showstopper

An assemble-ahead dish that makes morning entertaining easy.

An assemble-ahead dish that makes morning entertaining easy

(Photography by Allison Day)

The ultimate entertaining brunch, strata — a custardy, savoury bread pudding — makes weekend cooking a reality for a crowd. Assemble the strata up to one day ahead of time (pre-baked) and pop in the oven an hour before guests arrive.

Spinach and Gruyere Sourdough Strata

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp salted or unsalted butter, plus more for dish
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 (250g) bunch spinach (not baby), tough ends removed and roughly chopped
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups grated gruyere cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fine-grain salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 (450g) loaf sourdough bread, cubed
  • Pea shoots, or additional dill, to garnish

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a large circular, rectangular or oval baking dish.  

In a large high-sided skillet, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add onion and sauté until tender and just beginning to brown, lowering heat if it’s darkening too quickly, about 8 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl or dinner plate to cool.

In a large mixing bowl (if you don’t have one, use your largest pot), whisk eggs until fully beaten. To eggs, whisk in milk, ¾ cup of the cheese, dill, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Switch to a wooden spoon and fold in bread cubes, followed by sautéed onion and spinach. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes, and then tip into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup of cheese.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until puffed and golden brown. Garnish with pea shoots or additional dill and serve warm, room temperature or chilled.

Yield: Makes 6-8 servings


Allison Day is the cookbook author of Modern Lunch and the Taste Canada award-winning food blogger of Yummy Beet. Follow her on Instagram @allisondaycooks for more recipe inspiration. 

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