Monday, November 21, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving! Good Luck with the Turkey!

With all the "fun" in the kitchen this week, sometimes it's easy to forget that you need to feed your company breakfast! Don't worry, I've got the best recipe for "Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyere!" This is one of my all-time favorite recipes! The best part is that you make it ahead (always smart with company lingering!) and can be successfully doubled for larger crowds! Everyone always loves it! Don't forget to check my Recipes page for other excellent recipes, e.g., The Great After-Thanksgiving Turkey EnchiladasGratin Dauphinois, and Boursin Creamed Spinach, just to name a few!

Breakfast Strata with Spinach and Gruyere

Serves 6 (or 12 if doubled)


8-10, 1/2" slices supermarket French or Italian bread (I always make a few extra.)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 medium shallots, minced
1, 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup medium-dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 large eggs
1 3/4 cups half-and-half

*If doubled, double the ingredients and use a 13"x9" baking dish greased with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and bake for about 60 minutes.*


Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 225 degrees. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a large baking sheet and bake until dry and crisp, about 40 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through the drying time. When the bread has cooled, butter the slices on one side with 2 tablespoons of the butter, set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes; add the spinach and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until combined, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. Add the wine to the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, 2-3 minutes; set aside.

Butter an 8" square baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter; arrange half of the bread slices, buttered-side up in a single layer in the dish. (Don't worry if the bread doesn't completely cover the bottom, it will swell as it sits overnight.)

Sprinkle half of the spinach mixture, then 1/2 cup grated cheese evenly over the bread slices.

Arrange the remaining bread slices in a single layer over the cheese; sprinkle the remaining spinach mixture and another 1/2 cup cheese evenly over the bread. (The remainder of the cheese will be added right before baking.) Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until combined; whisk in the reduced wine, the half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread layers; 

cover the surface flush with plastic wrap, weight down with whatever you have in the pantry, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the dish from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Uncover the strata and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese evenly over the surface. Bake until both the edges and the center are puffed and the edges have pulled away slightly from the sides of the dish, 50-55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; serve.

Recipe adapted from The New Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook's Illustrated.