I’m not a practicing Catholic, we go to an Episcopal church where we had our son christened. And even there, unfortunately, I’m not very devout. However, I try to continue with one of the Catholic traditions, not eating meat on Ash Wednesday or Fridays during Lent.
It’s not a cleanse or a religious observance, just a thoughtful moment to reflect as winter ends. I remember a lot of fish sticks and pizza on Lenten Fridays as kid. Although my boy would love fish sticks more than once a week, I’m trying to change things up.
Strata’s not just for brunch anymore! Any combination of your favorite vegetables or cheese gets this done and bread cubes bump up the volume, like a savory bread pudding. I like to saute the vegetables first; in this case browning the mushrooms and wilted the spinach because it gets rid of the extra water those veggies hold. With asparagus or broccoli, you can throw them in raw to save time.
- 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 6 oz spinach
- 12 eggs
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 shredded cheese (I used a mix of cheddars)
- 3 heaping cups of cubed bread (I used a small loaf of Italian bread from the grocery store bakery)
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Saute mushrooms with butter and olive oil until mushrooms have released their water and are slightly brown. Remove and wilt spinach in the same pan. Remove and toss with bread cubes and cheese. Put this combination in a lightly greased casserole dish (I used a 2 1/2 quart Corningware).
- Whisk eggs and milk with salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture and allow bread to absorb the eggs for a couple of hours.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until center of the casserole is just set (it no long jiggles like crazy and looks wet). Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.