Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes

Oh deliciousness!! I had a couple of girlfriends coming over for brunch on Sunday and I had to find something yummy to share. I did a little Strata search and found this over at the Cooking Channel. It’s a recipe from Bobby Flay who always seems to have share worthy recipes.  It was so worth trying. My gal-pals loved it and I am about to enjoy the leftovers for lunch. Yum! The tomatoes are a great addition and make for a pretty presentation {if you like to have that ‘wow’ factor when plating your food}. Next time you are looking for a savory brunch meal, look no further cause this is a winner. My only change on this is that I used half of the spinach and I also used plain ol’ yellow onions.

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Caramelized Onion, Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Strata with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS

STRATA:
  • 6 cups cubed day-old French bread, with crust
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 large Spanish onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • One 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 cups grated aged Gruyere cheese
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

SAUTEED CHERRY TOMATOES:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced fresh chives, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

For the strata: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put the bread on a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Combine the butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook until it begins to shimmer. Add the onions, toss to coat in the butter, and then add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the bread cubes, onions and spinach. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1 1/2 cups cheese, milk, heavy cream, mustard, 1 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, thyme and nutmeg.

Butter a 9 by 13-inch decorative baking dish. Add the bread cubes to the baking dish, and then pour the egg mixture over the bread cubes and press down to make sure the bread is totally submerged.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the strata uncovered until the mixture has puffed up slightly, is golden brown on top and doesn’t shimmy with uncooked custardwhen you shake the pan, about 1 hour. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the top during the last 10 minutes of baking. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

For the tomatoes: Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until the tomatoes softened. Add the chives and remove from the heat.

Serve large spoonfuls of the strata onto plates and top with sauteed tomatoes.

I also served this wonderful coffee cake to add a bit of ‘sweet’ to compliment this savory strata.
Enjoy!

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