Courtesy of Mick Telkamp
Happy Holidays Friends,
Put your winter garden spinach to good use in this savory casserole. Christmas morning is always delightful lunacy. Kids tearing through the house to see what Santa has brought, wrapping paper flying like confetti, searching for a Phillips head screwdriver small enough to install batteries (not included). The cacophony is both maddening and sublime. It’s all one can do to sneak away long enough to put the coffee on, much less spend the morning trying to prepare a delectable holiday brunch for a hungry throng of merrymakers.
Fortunately, we planned ahead.
A sort of savory bread pudding, strata is an egg casserole perfect for brunch during the holidays when time is at a premium. Layers of bread, cheese and various meats or vegetables are blanketed in eggs to create a dish that is somehow simultaneously gooey and crisp. Strata is very easy to make, but even better, it can be prepared up to two days in advance, freeing up your Christmas morning for more festive pursuits.
Our delicious fresh spinach strata uses spicy sausage, but vegetables like broccoli or mushrooms may be substituted for a meat-free version of this brunch favorite.
Spinach and Sausage Strata
- 1 pound spicy breakfast sausage
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- 8 cups French bread, cubed
- 2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 10 eggs
- 2 cups half and half
- In a deep skillet, brown sausage over medium heat and transfer to a paper towel to drain.
- Using the same skillet, sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft.
- Add salt, pepper and paprika.
- Return sausage to skillet and add spinach.
- Stir until spinach wilts and remove from heat.
- In a buttered casserole or baking dish, place 1/3 of bread cubes in bottom of dish.
- Cover cubes with half of spinach mix.
- Combine cheddar and Parmesan and spread 1/3 over spinach in dish.
- Add another layer of bread crumbs, remaining half of spinach and 1/3 of cheese.
- Cover with remaining 1/3 of bread cubes and top with remaining cheese.
- Allow to rest 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate up to two days.
- Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 55-60 minutes (until golden brown).
Remember, Spinach and sausage strata can be prepared up to two days in advance.
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