This recipe was adapted from Eating Well’s Tomato and Spinach Dinner Strata

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese (NOTE: I substituted 2/3 of a cauliflower, sliced into 1/2 inch wide slabs and oven roasted at 450 degrees for 25 minutes with a little olive oil.)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry and chopped (NOTE: I used one bunch because I didn’t buy enough.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (NOTE: I just used regular ground old nutmeg.)
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce, divided (I used a big can of chopped tomatoes, straight from the can.)
  • 6 slices whole-grain sandwich bread, preferably day-old
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (NOTE: Does anyone else skip the parsley when it calls for a measly 2 tablespoons? If I buy a bunch of parsley, what am I going to do with the rest?)
  • (NOTE) I had some grilled eggplant slices on hand so I added them when I built up the layers of the strata.
  1. Coat a 7-by-11-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray. (NOTE: I used a 9 X 13 pan, increased the cauliflower to a full head, the eggs to 4, the milk to 1 1/3 cups, the bread to 9 slices, and used a little more cheese.)
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan; increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions, add 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt and stir to combine.
  3. Combine ricotta, spinach, nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another bowl.
  4. Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce into the prepared baking dish. Break each slice of bread into 4 roughly equal pieces; arrange half the bread on the sauce (the bread doesn’t have to completely cover the sauce). Spoon the ricotta mixture over the bread. Arrange the remaining bread over the ricotta. Scatter the mushroom mixture over the bread. Top with mozzarella. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the top. The pan will be very full.
  5. Whisk eggs and milk in a small bowl. (I added some hot sauce to the mixture to add a little zing.)  Pour the mixture slowly over the casserole, poking the filling gently with the tip of a knife until the egg mixture is evenly distributed and the bread is saturated. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray on one side and cover the casserole, sprayed-side down. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until puffed and golden brown, 10 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Here’s a picture. Mine looks extra pretty because I put slow-roasted Roma tomatoes on the top. It’s tasty and full of healthy stuff.