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Meatless Monday!

A recipe for a yummy spinach and cheese strata.

Welcome to Carroll Gardens Patch's weekly column in the spirit of the Meatless Monday initiative, which promotes going without meat one day a week to reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Here we share favorite recipes submitted by neighbors and local restaurants in which vegetables are the main attraction.

This gooey Spinach and Cheese Strata was baked by Baltic Street resident Jessica Varon. "I'd never made a strata before, but it was very easy," she said. "The most stressful part is deciding when it's achieved the perfect golden-brown color."

We'd say she succeeded.

Spinach and Cheese Strata
Adapted from SmittenKitchen

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed, drained of excess liquid, and chopped
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large)
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
8 cups cubed French or Italian bread in 1-inch cubes (1/2 lb)
6 oz coarsely grated Gruyère (2 cups)
2 oz finely grated parmesan (1 cup)
2 3/4 cups milk
9 large eggs
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Method

1. Sauté onion in butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and nutmeg; continue cooking for one minute. Stir in spinach, remove from heat and set aside.

2. Spread one third of the bread cubes in a well-buttered 3-quart gratin dish or other ceramic baking dish. Top with one-third of bread cubes, one-third of spinach mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice with remaining bread, spinach and cheese.

3. Whisk eggs, milk, mustard and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over strata. Cover with plastic wrap and chill strata for eat least 8 hours or up to a day.

4. The next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes while preheating oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Do you have a recipe you'd like to share with your neighbors? Send it our way! E-mail joanna.prisco@patch.com

Martha April 23, 2012 at 03:50 PM
This looks amazing. I love all the cooking recipes you post :)
Jenny April 23, 2012 at 04:15 PM
i agree. especially the focus on meatless ones. just to have some to look forward to on a regular basis. it's great. many thanks.

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