I’ve mentioned before that my in-laws tend to host fabulous brunches for us nearly every time we come for a visit.  I won’t say no to that!  The food is always amazing and, bonus, it gives me the opportunity to bring something as well.  Normally I tend to lean toward something on the sweeter side (muffins, scones, etc.) but last time I decided to try this strata.  This is basically a savory bread pudding, and a tasty one at that.  With spinach, onion, Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, this was sure to be delicious.  Needless to say, this was very well received.

It is incredibly convenient in that all the prep work is done the night before, and in the morning all you have to do is bake and serve.  I thought the overall flavors of the dish were great, but there are a couple of changes I will make next time.  First, I will double the amount of spinach.  If an ingredient makes it into the title of a recipe, you should get more than the occasional bite of it.  Plus, spinach is tastes good, and is good for us.  Also, I will omit the mustard called for in the original recipe.  I found it unnecessary, and it seemed to overpower a lot of the other flavors.  I’ve included these changes in the version below.  Enjoy!


3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1½ cups onion, finely chopped
2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp. salt, divided
½ tsp. pepper, divided
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. coarsely grated Gruyere (about 2 cups)
2 oz. finely grated Parmesan (about 2/3 cup)
9 large eggs
2¾ cup milk


  • 01

    Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, and the nutmeg, and continue to cook for 1 minute more.  Stir in the spinach, remove from the heat and set aside.

  • 02

    Butter the inside of a 2½-3 quart baking dish.  Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes.  Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese.

  • 03

    In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, milk, the remaining ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.  Whisk together until blended.  Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

  • 04

    Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.