A Breakfast Strata to Write Home About

It’s Valentine’s weekend, and though Valentine’s Day it is typically about showing your significant other how much you love them, it’s also possible to share some love, or at least some food, with a few close friends, right? Well, this Sunday Alex and I decided to invite our favorite couple, Michael and Brian, over to share some brunch love.

You may recognize Michael from his original web series, Jack In A Box, which he writes, directs and stars in . You may have also seen him in his recent star turn on 30 Rock, in the hilarious Brooklyn Without Limits episode. Either way, check out his site, he’s amazing. Random tangent over, moving on…

We cooked up quite a menu, but I’m not going to share all the details with you in one post. However, I think it’s only fair that I share with you my favorite dish of the morning–a Breakfast Strata with sausage, spinach and Gruyère. This recipe originally came from Gourmet (R.I.P.), however I found it via one of my favorite food blogs, Eggs On Sunday.

This is a great make-ahead dish and is meant to be assembled the night before or at least 8 hours before baking–which of course makes for a super simple entrée that is worry-free the next morning.

Breakfast Strata with Sausage, Spinach and Gruyère
Adapted from Eggs On Sunday

Ingredients:

1  10 oz frozen package of spinach–thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 cups cubed, crusty bread (1 and a half loaves)–I used a French baguette.
1 lb sweet Italian sausage (removed from the casing)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Begin by heating up the butter in a skillet. Once hot and foamy, add the onions and cool until they are soft.

Once the onions are soft, add the sausage and break it up with a wooden spoon. When the sausage is no longer pink, add the spinach and cook for an additional minute, then add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Then remove the pan from the heat.

While the sausage mixture  cools, begin grating your cheese. I used the large grate size for the Gruyère and the fine size for the Parm.

Butter your casserole dish and begin to assemble your layers. First place 1/3 of the bread cubes on the bottom, then 1/3 of the sausage mixture, and finally a sprinkling of cheese. Repeat these steps 2 more times.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the Dijon mustard and milk, and carefully pour over the casserole. At first you may think it isn’t possible for all of this egg mixture to fit into the dish, but you’ll be surprised. With all the nooks and crannies in the bread, the eggs easily find a home.

Cover with tin foil, and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

The next morning, take the strata out of the refrigerator, and let it sit until it reaches room temperature (about 30 minutes). After 30 minutes, place in a preheated 350 degree oven covered and bake for about 1-1.5 hours. After about 45 minutes, remove the tin foil and let the casserole brown evenly. The cooking time will vary from oven to oven, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

The strata was fantastic. It will certainly top my list of easy go-to breakfast options in the future. You might even say it was out of this stratasphere (or you might not, but I had to fit that in somewhere).

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8 Responses to “A Breakfast Strata to Write Home About”


  1. 1 aunt betty February 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    So when are you making this for me?

  2. 3 MCC February 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I really do think the salad on my fork picture looks TOTALLY candid.

  3. 5 Mom February 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Wow. That dish looks wonderful! I’d like to make my reservations for breakfast…

    I checked out the Eggs On Sunday blog ~ lots of yummy food there too. Bring a few recipies home with you. We’ll play in the kitchen.

    • 6 Handjobs for the Home February 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Thanks, Mom!

      It was a really wonderful recipe, I’m sure you would love it. I also like it because you can switch up the ingredients to make a totally new combination 🙂 We will definitely have to cook and blog something together, I think that would be fun!

  4. 7 Gabe February 16, 2011 at 2:51 am

    Love it!

    Most importantly: where did you get that egg holder thing? Awesome!


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