Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ham, Goat Cheese and Spinach Strata

Since trying a breakfast bake for the first time, I found myself open to trying others. And that's how this one came into play, goat cheese and all. Now I know they are called stratas, which just means layers (in Geology, Sociology, and Biology), which makes me wonder if lasagna means strata except with noodles instead of bread and for dinner instead of breakfast.

There is supposed to be 12 ounces of goat cheese, but I only used 11 ounces. And because I don't buy shredded cheeses anymore, I shredded my own blend of Italian cheeses, Gruyere and Parmesan.

Ham, Goat Cheese and Spinach Strata
adapted from Cooking Club of America
click to print

3 c whole milk
5 eggs
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
11 oz. soft goat cheese, crumbled, softened (about 3 cups)
2 c shredded Italian cheese blend (I used Gruyere and some Parmesan)
2 tsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
8 c cubed (1 inch) sourdough bread
12 oz. ham, coarsely chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 (12-oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Beat milk, eggs, garlic, salt and pepper in large bowl at medium-low speed until smooth.

Add goat cheese; beat until blended.

Combine Italian cheese, sage and thyme in medium bowl.

Arrange half of the bread cubes in baking dish.

Layer with ham, spinach and half of the cheese-herb mixture.

After putting on the spinach, I misread the directions. I poured half the egg (and goat cheese) mixture over the spinach before spreading half of the cheese-herb mixture across the dish.

Top with remaining bread cubes.

Pour egg mixture over the top, pressing down so all ingredients are moistened.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese-herb mixture. (Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Remove cover; continue baking an additional 30 to 35 minutes or until browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Ok, so I messed up the recipe slightly by pouring in half the egg mixture mid-layering instead of saving it all for the end. Some of the bread cubes on top did turn out a little crunchy so the egg should be added all at the end. Otherwise, the recipe turned out well. As for the goat cheese, it was a little much for me. I could've used about half the goat cheese and been happy. The seasonings, sage and thyme, worked well.

If I had to pick between this one and the other one, the other one would win. And the other one is less expensive, though I did so a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess) on the cheese price here.


  • whole milk: $0.75
  • eggs: $1.52
  • garlic: $0.10
  • soft goat cheese: $11.99
  • Italian cheese blend (I used Gruyere and some Parmesan): $10, SWAG
  • fresh sage: $0.60
  • fresh thyme: $0.60
  • sourdough bread: $2
  • ham: $2.24
  • frozen spinach: $1

TOTAL: $30.80 or about $2.57 for each of 12 servings.