For Mother’s Day, I made brunch; however, I did make one mistake with this recipe.  I wasn’t really thinking about it, and I used the wrong kind of baking dish.  As a result, I didn’t achieve “crispy” bread like I would have preferred.  However, changes in hand next time – using a baking dish with more surface area like a 9″ x 13″ Pyrex-type dish – I would make this again.

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. pepper, divided
  • Tiny pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (I omitted.)
  • 8 cups cubed French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 oz. or 2 cups coarsely grated Gruyere
  • 2 oz. or 2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2¾ cup milk

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Next add in the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon of the salt, ¼ teaspoon of the pepper, and the nutmeg (if using), and allow to cook for another minute.  Stir in the spinach, remove from the heat and set aside.

Butter the inside of a 2½-3 quart baking dish (use a shallower and longer baking dish than I did).  Layer the bottom of the dish with one third of the bread cubes.  Top with one third of the spinach mixture and one third of each of the cheeses.  Repeat these layers twice more with the bread, spinach and cheese.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Whisk until blended.  Pour the mixture evenly over the bread and spinach layered in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Bake uncovered until puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 45-55 minutes.  Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Source: adapted from Annie’s EatsSmitten Kitchen, originally from Gourmet, February 2003

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