spinach, broccoli strata

Recipe: Spinach and Broccoli Brunch Strata

This savory, healthier spin on French toast can stand up to a hungry crowd.

This is a fairly forgiving dish, in that you can add in the elements that you like and forego those you don't. Vegetarians can skip the sausage and be a little more liberal on the spices. If you're holding onto some collards that are about to go bad, toss those in there. And since it's a casserole, it feeds a crowd without having to make multiple dishes. If you want a more custard-like dish, opt for using milk, whereas chicken or vegetable broth will increase its savory factor. 

Looking for more ideas? Check out all of our vegetable-forward brunch recipes

Ingredients

  • ½ bunch broccoli (about 12 ounces) stems sliced, crowns cut into florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz merguez, hot Italian sausage or chicken sausage, casings removed (if using)
  • ½ bunch spinach (about 3 oz)
  • 8 thick slices whole grain country bread, cut into 1” pieces
  • 8 large organic eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk, or chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook broccoli until bright green, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool, drain and set aside. 

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil; cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add merguez or sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat. 

  3. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, toss bread with spinach, broccoli and sausage mixture, then transfer to prepared dish. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with milk or broth and feta; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper pepper. Pour egg mixture over bread, pressing down gently to be sure that the bread absorbs the custard. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake until golden brown on top, 10–15 minutes more. Let cool slightly before serving.