Rosemary & spinach breakfast strata

1 Breakfast Strata Rosemary and Spinach-Margaux DrakeAfter 16 years this vegan (me) recently started eating eggs again…well not the whole egg… at least not yet, just the “white” part. Let’s talk more about that in January. Right now, there is Christmas to CELEBRATE!

I wanted to create a recipe that we could all eat and that could be made the night before, because I don’t know what Christmas morning looks like at your house but here, at The Drake, it’s unorganized holiday BLISS until about noon, that’s when things get REAL and something other than stocking stuffer munchies are required. This year I wanted to be armed and ready with something delicious and savory. Hello breakfast strata.

If you can make toast, sauté veggies, and whisk eggs, you’ll ACE breakfast strata 101.

1 Breakfast Strata detail-Margaux Drake

Rosemary and Spinach Breakfast Strata

makes one 8″x8″ baking dish

8 slices gluten-free bread
5 tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread
1/2 cup shallots, minced
3 cups spinach, fresh & loosely packed
2 teaspoons rosemary, fresh & minced
1/2 C white wine
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
7 ounces plant-based monterey jack and cheddar cheese shreds mix
9 egg whites (or 6 whole eggs)
1 3/4 cup plant-based milk, unsweetened
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 225 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position.
Arrange bread directly on the rack and bake until dry and crisp about 30 minutes.
Let cool and butter one side of each with 2 tablespoons of buttery spread and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of buttery spread in a medium sauté pan.
Sauté shallots until translucent then add 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh minced rosemary and sauté for one minute more.
Add spinach and wine and sauté until spinach wilts.
Stir in sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and sauté a few minutes longer to evaporate as much water as possible from the vegetables.
Remove pan from the heat and set aside.

Butter an 8″X8″ baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of buttery spread.
Place four pieces of toast, buttered side up in a single layer in the dish.
Sprinkle half of the sauté mixture and then 1/3 of the cheese over the toast slices.
Place the remaining pieces of toast in a single layer over the cheese.
Sprinkle the remaining sauté mixture, then another 1/3 of the cheese evenly over the bread.
Whisk egg whites/eggs, plant-based milk, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until combined.
Pour egg mixture evenly over the toast, sauté, and cheese layers.

Cover the surface of the baking dish with plastic wrap and weight the top with bags of grains like rice or quinoa.
Refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
Remove dish from refrigerator at least 20 minutes before baking so it warms to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with the oven rack in the middle position.
Uncover strata and sprinkle remaining 1/3 of cheese evenly over the top.
Bake until edges and center are firm, about 50 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of minced rosemary, slice with a serrated knife and serve.

Buy good eggs, always free-range and organic but local, also, if possible.
Experiment with different vegetable and herb combinations in the sauté.
Less is more when it comes to adding produce, too many veggies will make the dish wet and soggy.
Keep the sauté simple and keep it as dry as possible.

From our Christmas kitchen to yours,