Update: I am now teaching 7th graders, and I absolutely love it. They’re adorable, hilarious, and energetic.
I think I’ve fallen in love with teaching middle school. It is exhausting, however, and it’s 10 a.m., and I’m still in pajamas and not feeling so hot.
Breakfast for dinner is exactly what’s needed. This dish is fairly rich, so I’m going to serve it with a simple green side salad. lv, molly
P.S. This would be a stunning dish to bring to a brunch potluck.
P.P.S. Whenever I make strata, I think of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in The Family Stone when she spills it all over myself. I fear I won’t escape this fate forever.
Spinach + Gruyere Strata
1/2 loaf stale French or Italian bread (8 ounces), cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
4 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
4 shallots, minced
1 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) Gruyère cheese, shredded (sharp cheddar is also good)
6 large eggs
1 3/4 C half-and-half (or you could substitute some low-fat milk)
Salt + pepper
Butter one side of the bread with 2 Tbl butter.
Melt remaining 2 Tbl butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the spinach, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook until the spinach is heated through, about 2 minutes.
Grease an 8-inch-square baking dish. Arrange half of the bread, buttered-side up, in a single layer in the dish. Scatter half of the spinach mixture and 1/2 cup of the cheese over the bread. Repeat, making another layer of bread, spinach, and cheese.
Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the layered bread, spinach, and cheese. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and put a 2-pound bag of sugar on top to weigh it down. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Allow the strata to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before baking. When ready to bake, remove the weight, remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top. Bake until both the edges and center are puffed and the edges have pulled away slightly from the sides of the dish, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before serving.