Spinach and Gruyère Breakfast Strata

We have guests SO much in the summer, that I all but give up entirely on planning meals. If you visit us in the summer, you’ll have clean sheets and towels, as well as a well-stocked beer fridge, but I cannot promise the state of my home or that I’ll have any idea what we’ll eat and when.

This is so unlike me, I realize this. But…when my bestie is in town, our foodie-ness takes over and I always have a plan. And she can always execute something with what’s on hand. It’s generally a joint effort in the kitchen and I love it! Divide, conquer, devour.

This is all possible because when you have a well-stocked pantry like mine, you often have staples and beyond on hand. In my house, white wine is a staple item and yet, when you NEED a bottle, it’s never there.

I might’ve, absolutely run to the gas station right up the road to buy a bottle. Without make-up. With my hair a wreck. In boxers, a tank top, a cardigan. And no bra. Fortunately for everyone involved, I ran into no one I knew. Buying sub-par Sauvignon Blanc at a gas station at 9pm on a Friday night – I figured I’d pull it off without major embarrassment.

I returned home to my bestie and her hubby to continue binging the Olympics and working away on this strata. I knew that if anyone would appreciate the efforts of this strata, it would be them. Kristen loves everything with bread and cheese – the spinach, shallots, and wine are just a bonus.

Even though this dish took a bit of forethought and time, it was well-worth the effort. It reheated beautifully, too. We weren’t even disappointed that the kids all turned up their noses and grabbed for the donuts instead.

Spinach and Gruyère Breakfast Strata

Spinach and Gruyère Breakfast Strata

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

This breakfast delight is packed with spinach, shallots, and rich gruyere. Perfect as a make-ahead brunch or fun savory meal anytime!

Ingredients

  • 12 (3/4-inch thick) slices French bread
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 oz Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 225 degrees F. Arrange bread in single layer on large baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can use stale bread or set the slices out to dry overnight. 
  2. In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté shallots until fragrant and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  4. Mist an 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange half the bread slices in single layer. Sprinkle half of spinach mixture then 1/2 cup grated gruyère evenly over bread slices. Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese; sprinkle remaining spinach mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese evenly over bread.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. Add reduced wine, milk, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers; cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Place something heavy on the strata to help submerge the bread (bagged rice or brown sugar work well).
  7. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  8. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap, sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over surface, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. 

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Double Thyme via Cooks Illustrated

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 strata
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414Total Fat: 20.0gCholesterol: 217mgSodium: 764mgCarbohydrates: 31.0gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 5.7gProtein: 22.0g

Love savory breakfast/brunch options? More comin’ at ya!

Be well,

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