I love the combination of artichokes and spinach in a warm creamy dip (with hot crisp tortilla chips to dip in it) so when I saw this strata recipe, I wanted to give it a try. I had never made a strata before, unless you count the Holiday Brunch Casserole I shared with you a while back. Come to think of it, what makes a strata a strata? Hold on….
…okay…from our good friend, Wikipedia:
The most common modern variant is a brunch dish, similar to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs and cheese. It may also include meat or vegetables. The usual preparation requires the bread to be layered with the filling in order to produce layers (strata). It was popularized in the 1984 Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.
Other recipes merely require that the ingredients are mixed together, like a savory bread pudding. A beaten egg mixture is then poured over the ingredients. The dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before it is baked. It is served warm.
Okay, so maybe I have made a strata before!
Well, here’s one I’d like to share with you. It’s delicious. There’s no meat, but I don’t think you’ll miss it. I love meat and I loved this dish. Don’t be scared by the somewhat long list of ingredients…it’s not hard to put together, I promise!
from the Pillsbury Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
2 t olive or vegetable oil
1 medium bell pepper, any color, diced (1 cup)
1 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (14 oz) quartered artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped (1.5 cups)
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
8 cups cubed (1-inch) rustic round bread (about 1 lb)
1.5 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese (or whatever you like)
2.5 c milk
1/2 t ground mustard
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
What To Do
In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in artichokes and spinach; set aside.
Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange bread cubes in dish. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over bread cubes; sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese.
In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper with wire whisk until blended; pour evenly over bread, vegetables and cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
Heat oven to 350°F. Bake covered 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 to 30 minutes longer or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
I put my garlic cloves through my garlic mincer. So much fun!
This does take some time so make sure you don’t start making it at 5pm for dinner that night…even though you read the directions several times before getting started…not that I have experience with this…
So yes, I made this with the intention of eating it for dinner but as Wiki says, it’s good for brunch too. I ate leftovers for breakfast and it was great. It’s pretty hearty and would be great to make for when you have company…or have company so you can make it. Either way, this strata is super. And I hope you have a super weekend!