Most strata recipes have three things in common: the egg custard, chunks of bread and cheese.
For this recipe, I’ve added mini pepperoni, diced tomatoes, spinach and shredded mozzarella. Browned Italian sausage would be great in place of the pepperoni.
The great thing about strata is that you can assemble and refrigerate it in the morning to bake up at dinner, or make it and refrigerate it after dinner to serve for a tasty brunch tomorrow.
The strata bakes up puffed and golden and is best served right away. If you want to freeze the strata, it is best to freeze it before baking. Simply prepare the recipe and spread the mixture in a baking dish or foil baking pan, wrap in foil or seal in a two-gallon zip-top plastic bag and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours or more before baking and serving.
1/2 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, about
3 to 4 cups
4 ounces pepperoni, cut into small pieces, or 4 ounces mini turkey pepperoni slices
2 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess water
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the bread, pepperoni, tomato and half the cheese in a large bowl. (Reserve the remaining cheese, in a plastic bag or other container, and refrigerate.)
Whisk the spinach, eggs, milk, Italian seasoning,
salt, pepper and garlic powder in a medium bowl and pour over the bread mixture.
Toss to combine, then spread in the prepared dish. Cover and refrigerate for
2 hours or overnight.
Remove the dish from the refrigerator while you preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for about 20 minutes more, until set in the center.
Makes 6-8 servings.