Making a family member’s favorite dish brings me great pleasure, so when my son-in-law, Andy, put in a request for strata over the Christmas holidays, I made sure I bought good bread and half-and-half, and had a carton of eggs on hand. I like strata–I make it a lot!–so I wanted to honor his request and yet challenge myself to make the dish a little different.
Because strata is so mild–it’s just eggs, milk, and bread–potent cheese is key. Typically I use sharp cheddar. Here’s where I needed to make it different. My mind went down the cheese list and landed on feta. From there the rest came tumbling out–spinach, dill, scallions.
Near our home in Pennsylvania, there’s a Greek restaurant we really like called Yianni’s. For a brief minute we thought about going there for Saturday breakfast until we realized they’re only open for Sunday brunch. We found another breakfast spot instead, but Spinach-Feta Strata was on the Sunday morning menu at our house. As we forked into this tasty new strata, we all agreed it would be a natural on the Yianni’s brunch menu.
My sharp-cheddar stratas are still my flagship brunch entree, but it’s so nice to have a new flavor in my repertoire.
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 6 large eggs
- 1 pound frozen spinach, squeezed dry
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
- ½ teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper
- 8 ounces (3 cups) dense chewy European-style bread cubes
- 6 ounces feta, crumbled
- Whisk half-and-half and eggs until smooth, stir in spinach, scallions, dill, and salt and pepper. Scatter half the bread in an 8-inch square baking pan. Pour half the spinach mixture and scatter half the cheese over the bread. Repeat with a second layer. Let stand a half hour or so for bread to absorb the liquid. (Can be covered and refrigerated overnight; return to room temperature before baking or allow additional baking time.)
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Bake until egg mixture has completely set, about 50 minutes if strata was at room temperature and about an hour if refrigerated. Let stand a few minutes to set. Cut into slices and serve.
This sounds/looks delicious — eggs, spinach, feta, and dill are some of my favorite foods. I’m wondering if this recipe could be made substituting milk for at least some of the half and half.
Pam Anderson says
Hey Julie, When testing my strata formula years ago, I settled on half and half. I can’t remember exactly why, but probably because it tasted better. The only thing that might be an issue with less rich milk is the custard curdling, but I don’t think it would happen. Give it a try, and let me know if it works.
I really loved this strata when we had it weekend before last. It may still have half and half in it, but it certainly feels like a healthier version with all the spinach and feta (instead of a higher fat cheese)!
This will make a delicious weekend breakfast! YUM!
Sandy Oldfield says
YUM! I’m going to try baking this in a larger, shallow pan for a shorter time and cut it into diamonds for a football game finger food. Nice change from the standby.
Carol at Wild Goose Tea says
This works for me. I love ALL the ingredients a LOT. I also love making stratas. They make great casseroles for dinner as far as I am concerned because I am a major egg fiend.
I made this strata over the weekend. It is really good! It puffed up so nicely, we all enjoyed it.
The recipes looks so beautiful and yummy! thank you!
I wanted something simple for Christmas brunch and this was perfect! It’s delicious and a very hands off way to have a delicious meal!
We have copious quantities of kale. If I cook the kale before adding it, will it sub ok for the spinach? I wonder if artichokes, drained, would work nicely with the kale…
Thank you for the inspiration!
Pam Anderson says
You don’t even have to cook the kale. Simply massage it with a little olive oil. I don’t think you could go too far wrong with a kale/artichoke combo. Good luck!