Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mediterranean Spinach Strata

Because of THE COLD, I wanted to cram some nutrients into my family at breakfast. This strata proved to be the perfect way. I love stratas because you can prep them the night before, after the little geeks have gone to bed, and then just pop them in the oven in the morning.

2 8-oz (or 1 16-oz) loaves French bread baguettes (I used whole wheat), cut into 1-inch slices (if you are lucky they will do this for you at the store).
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 8-oz package sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 7-oz bags baby spinach
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
3 cups thinly sliced plum tomatoes (about 1 lb)
1 (4 oz) package crumbled feta cheese
3/4 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
3 cups fat-free milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 35o. Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes (or until lightly browned).

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms (if included), and saute 5 minutes until tender. Sprinkle flour over mixture and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add half the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add the other half, cook until it wilts (you could do this all at once if your skillet was large enough). Stirl in 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Place half the toasted bread slices in the bottom of a 13 x 9 bakign dish coated with cooking spray. Spread spinach mixture evently over the bread. Top with tomato slices. Sprinkle feta and half of Asiago cheese. Top with remaining bread.

Combine 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, milk, mustard, oregano, and eggs/egg whites in a bowl with a whisk. Pour over bread, then sprinkle with remaining Asiago cheese. Cover and chill overnight (8 hours at least).

Prehead oven to 350. Uncover strata and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Serve warm.

I thought this had a little bit too much spinach, so I'd probably use about 1/2 a bag less in the future. I also might up the Dijon mustard, but that may just be me. The Big Geek thinks it needs ham. Maybe some bacon, and then use cheddar instead of feta, and it would be kind of like a blt. . .

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