Greetings from Idaho! And Happy Easter to all. I can’t tell you what a few days in the wilderness does for the soul, but I’m a whole new woman. I’m sleeping like a rock and I’ve got this peaceful, easy feeling (I could write like 67 posts about how much I love The Eagles…but I won’t).
And since I’m feeling rested and renewed, I’m switching things up over here on the blog. We’re doing BRUNCH today. What?! Yes, that’s right. Brunch. It’s my favorite meal, what about you? Easter is kind of like the Superbowl of brunches, so it seems rather appropriate. And when I reach for my go-to brunch recipes, I tend towards the savory and I like me some eggs. If it’s easy to pull together and also delicious, even better. Which is why I love this recipe for a Spinach and Bacon Strata. Homey and eggy and bacon-y, and it’s ready to go in the oven in under 15 minutes.
Spinach & Bacon Strata, adapted from Martha Stewart
You will need:
1 teaspoon olive oil
10 ounces spinach
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 cups bread cubes
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
1 ¼ cups sharp white cheddar, grated
coarse salt and ground pepper
A little note on this recipe: it is the most flexible brunch recipe that I know. You do not need to use spinach and bacon if you don’t want to. If you’d rather mushrooms and ham, do it. If you are feeling asparagus and turkey, go there. If you want to make it veg, get after it. You do you, this recipe is made for alterations.
OK, back to the main event.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spread your bread cubes out on a baking sheet and toss them in the oven while it’s preheating. This will dry them out slightly so they both absorb the egg custard and keep a bit of structure.
Next, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the spinach and cook (or whatever veg you’re going with), stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain, removing as much liquid as possible. Using the same skillet, sauté the bacon until it is fully cooked but still chewy (side eye to those of you who prefer crispy bacon, I just don’t speak your language).
Take your toasted bread cubes and spread in an even layer in the bottom of a pie plate. Spread the spinach and bacon over the top and set aside.
Then, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, the milk, and about ¾ cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, spinach, and bacon in the pie plate and top with the rest of the cheese. Bake the strata until it is set in middle and golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve immediately, potentially accompanied by some fresh fruit and an aggressively large mimosa. Just a suggestion. It is, shall we say, brunch-erific. Enjoy!