Spinach Sausage and Tomato Strata – a savory bread pudding with eggs, cheese, sausage, spinach, and tomatoes. This is a perfect brunch dish.
I want to love eggs. I get jealous when I see someone with a runny cracked egg on their plate. I wish that I was one of those people that could eat eggs any way, any time. They look really good to me, and eggs are one of my favorite things to cook. Poaching eggs is my idea of fun. It isn’t that I don’t like the way that eggs taste, it is more of a texture thing. (Believe it or not, I am actually a pretty picky eater. I don’t really love foods that I can’t chew or have some sort of crunch.) But when I put enough texture into eggs, I love them.
Case and point – strata. AKA savory bread pudding. I love a quiche or a strata because there is enough going on that there are lots of different textures and bites. This is one is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. You can use the recipe as a base and add anything you like. I like bacon and caramelized onion with spinach a lot too. This is really simple to make and bakes up puffy and gorgeous. I love how colorful this one is.
Tip – Make sure you really have enough fat in the pan for the eggs to release easily. Make sure you brush with melted butter or olive oil before adding the eggs. There is nothing worse than trying to get caked on eggs off of a cast iron pan.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 package apple maple chicken sausage, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cups spinach
1/2 cup half-and-half
Salt and pepper
1/2 baguette, cut into cubes
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Parsley and chives, finely chopped
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and sausage. Cook until browned.
Add onions and cook until they begin to soften.
Add mushrooms and continue to cook for about 5 minutes longer, or until the onions are brown. Add garlic.
Add the spinach a little at a time.
It will begin to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
Whisk eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Add the bread cubes to the pan.
Top with the halved tomatoes and cheese.
Pour the egg mixture over. Press down with a spoon so the bread soaks up some of the egg.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The eggs will be puffed and golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and chive. Serve directly from the pan.