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This recipe was supposed to be the highlight of our Mother’s Day brunch. Unfortunately, I neglected to read through the instructions all the way to the end where it said “Chill strata, covered, for at least 8 hours for the bread to absorb the egg mixture.” Hence it became Mother’s Day Dinner, and we had to make due at brunchtime with:

healthy brunch

So, we didn’t exactly suffer and I learned a valuable lesson: Read the recipe all the way through, and if you are writing a recipe, begin with essential information such as “You must begin to prepare this the night before.”

vegetable strata

Spinach Mushroom Asparagus Strata Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, trimmed
  • 4 medium-sized, Portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 1-2 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 c cubed (1 inch) French or Italian bread
  • 6 oz coarsely grated cheese (2 cups total, Gruyère and Keflolograviera used here)
  • 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
  • 2 3/4 c milk
  • 12 large eggs
  • 2 T Dijon mustard

Steam spinach in a frying pan, tossing over medium-high heat for a few minutes, with only the water used to wash it. Squeeze all the water out and chop roughly.

Peel the bottom quarter of the asparagus stalks to remove tough part. Spray asparagus and mushrooms lightly with olive oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and roast for about 15 minutes. Cut asparagus into 2 inch pieces.

vegetable strata

Cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until soft, for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg, stirring for 1 more minute. Combine onion with spinach, mushrooms and asparagus.

Spread 1/3 of bread cubes in a buttered large, shallow 9 x 13 inch baking dish and top with 1/3 of vegetable mixture. Combine the 3 cheeses, then sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat layering twice– ending with cheese.

In a large bowl whisk together milk, eggs, mustard and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and pour evenly over strata.

Vegetable Strata

Refrigerate, covered, for at least 8 hours so that the bread can soak up the egg mixture.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Let strata stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, for about 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. This dish tastes great reheated. Sprinkle on additional cheese before reheating if desired.

Spinach Mushroom Asparagus Strata Print Ready Recipe

Vegetable Strata

Final notes:

  • The nice thing about this dish is that it makes a perfect meal with just a simple green salad.
  • This recipe was adapted from the Epicurious Spinach Strata recipe.
  • Thanks a million to my chef-sister Julia Richardson for all the delicious Mother’s Day salads and for guiding this strata.
  • Thanks to my family for making Mother’s Day special and memorable!
  • My apologies to the gang at work. The strata I brought to the breakfast pot luck needed more time to heat up, but I couldn’t tear myself away from Galore by Michael Crummey. Note to self: No reading before work. Heather Stiglitz, your dish was stellar!
  • Thanks to amazing artist-friend, Nina Cherney, for sampling leftovers and agreeing that Yvonne’s Cheesecake posted on my recipe 2 recipe blog is outstanding. If you missed Nina’s recent show at Gallery d’Avignon, you may still be able to acquire one of her modern, psychedelic Group of Seven style landscapes–before they wind up in the National Gallery.

Vegetable Strata