Since we all started waking up at 6 a.m. this year for earlier school start times, weekend mornings have taken on a whole new significance. These days, we crave a morning to sleep in and stay in our pajamas and slippers as long as we can.  On Saturdays or Sundays, we also enjoy a special breakfast that we wouldn’t normally have time to savor during the frantic weekday mornings.

Sometimes we make croissants (okay, I admit it, we buy them frozen and bake them fresh in the morning) or fresh muffins, fluffy scrambled eggs, bagels and lox. One of our recent favorite weekend breakfasts is a delectable strata, that we assemble the night before we plan to eat it.

In case you aren’t familiar with it, a strata is an Italian baked egg and bread dish.  The ingredients meld together as you soak it overnight, and the strata evolves into a fluffy casserole when you bake it in the morning.

Stratas are especially fun to make with kids because they can mix and pour the ingredients in the dish, and then see how the texture transforms after you bake it.

What are your family’s favorite weekend breakfasts? Please post your favorite recipes or ideas in the comments below.

Recipe: Spinach and Cheese Strata

  • Prep Time: 15 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 50 min(s)
  • Total Time: 65 min(s)

Start your day off with this light and fluffy spinach and cheese strata.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 slices ciabatta bread, about 1/2-inch thick
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups nonfat or low fat milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence, or use dried thyme or other Italian herbs
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Defrost the spinach (I put it in a saucepan without any added liquid and steam it over medium heat, covered, until it is thawed, about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, cut the bread into cubes and spray a 9 x 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk. Whisk in the cheeses, herbs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir in the spinach and bread cubes until the bread is completely moistened.
  3. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, smoothing it with the back of a spoon, if necessary. Refrigerate it, covered, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  4. When you are ready to bake it, remove the strata from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake it in the center of the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes until it is browned on the edges and cooked through in the center. Cut it into squares to serve it.
  5. What are your favorite weekend rituals or breakfasts? Please share them with Aviva, Alice, and other Kitchen Explorers readers below.

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