This recipe came from this month's issue of Relish Magazine (mine arrived with my paper just yesterday). When I saw it, I knew instantly it would be incredibly delicious. Every member of this family is a huge fan of goat cheese, and seeing it combined with so many other luscious ingredients sounded way too good to pass up! This would make for a great brunch, but I prepared it for supper tonight, and it was very satisfying as a vegetarian meal option. I served it alongside roasted asparagus and a green salad. Is it sad to admit I'm already eyeballing it for leftovers tomorrow?!
One tip: Don't skimp on the bread here. The Ciabatta (a rustic Italian-style bread) recommended really does make the recipe.
Herbed Spinach and Goat Cheese Strata
1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt, divided
Coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed rustic bread, such as Ciabatta (about a 1-pound loaf)
1 cup crumbled goat cheese (6 ounces)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2¾ cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 to 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Place thawed spinach in colander and squeeze out excess water. Chop finely.
Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in spinach; remove from heat. Toss bread cubes, spinach mixture and cheeses together in a large bowl. Place mixture in a buttered 13 x 9-inch baking dish or 3-quart gratin dish.
Whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and herbs. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Pour evenly over bread mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight. (I only refrigerated for 4 hours, which was perfectly adequate.)
Preheat oven to 350F. Remove strata from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and bake, uncovered, about 45 minutes, until puffed, golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Serves 10.