Our friends recently had a little boy. His name is Owen and he's so very sweet. We had a lovely visit this past weekend over brunch. Our friend Ed makes the best cappucinos and I made this spinach and cheese strata that I found on Smitten Kitchen (my favourite food blog). I served it with a simple salad and roasted sweet potatoes, but crispy bacon or a fruit salad would make for tasty sides too.

Spinach and cheese strata

spinach and cheese strata

1 package frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze excess liquid, chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French bread (baguette), chopped in 1 inch cubes
2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Sauté onion in butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, nutmeg and continue cooking for one minute.

Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside. 

Spread half the bread cubes in a well-buttered gratin dish (or ceramic baking dish), top with half the spinach mixture and half of each cheese. Repeat layer with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to a day.

The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes  preheating the oven to 350°F.

Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8. 

(Photo via Smitten Kitchen)

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