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This has all the great flavour of a spinach pie and you don't have to work with fussy filo pastry! I was in a fix over what category to post this submission in as it's a great breakfast or main dish strata. Finally, I decided to submit it in the category for which I made it today - as a veggie side dish to our dinner. I guess that's the beauty of it, there's no WRONG time to enjoy it.
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups finely minced shallots (I used my mini-processor to mince)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (popped these into the mini-processor along with the shallots)
- 1 (2 lb) package frozen spinach, thawed completely
- 1⁄3 cup minced fresh dill (optional but highly recommended)
- 6 cups cubed bread, crusts removed and cut into 1 inch cubes (I used sourdough but any dense, good-quality bread can be used)
- 4 ounces coarsely-grated gouda cheese
- 4 ounces coarsely-grated asiago cheese
- 2 cups milk
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1⁄3 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (ground, not flakes)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pour olive oil into medium saucepan and saute the shallots and garlic over medium heat until just starting to caramelise (some of the shallots start turning golden), about 12-14 minutes. Empty into a very large bowl.
- Take fistfuls of the completely thawed spinach and squeeze tightly in your hands to eliminate as much water as possible. Chop spinach up fine. Put in bowl with shallot mixture and dill (if using) and add bread and cheeses. Stir to combine well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, mustard, salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg; pour over bread mixture and turn well to coat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes or longer.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously grease a 13 X 9 inch glass baking dish with olive oil.
- Pour strata mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until puffed and cooked through, about 45-55 minutes.
- Note: This recipe can be made up to a full day ahead. Just cover and refrigerate. Allow to sit out of refrigerator for 30 minutes before proceeding.