Sourdough Strada - Using that leftover bread!
Like many of you, we end up having lots of leftover bread from my bakes. I always like to have a fresh bread on hand, so that leaves the rumps of many loaves to be thrown out or made into bread crumbs. I ran across a recipe in Cooking Light for a sourdough artichoke and spinach strada, and I was intrigued. On closer study, I saw that the reviews said it was bland, so I spiced it up a bit. I actually used a chunk of the gluten-free sourdough I baked, cutting it up into cubes. This is a very filing recipe, so I suggest using more vegetables and fewer bread cubes. I think broccoli and sautéed peppers would be good as well. I added a few ripe tomatoes, but don't advise this as they cause the strada to be more watery. I added onions, hot pepper and mushrooms along with the artichokes and spinach from the original recipe. My husband and I enjoyed it with a salad on the side. You can also add more cheese to make it really cheesy. I suggest experimenting with the vegetables and cheeses you like. For meat eaters, I think cooking a bit of pancetta, draining it on a paper towel and then using the fat to cook the onions and vegetables would be a nice idea as well. I think almost anything would work in this. Hope it is helpful. Phyllis
Sourdough Artichoke and Spinach Strada
1 bunch of fresh spinach
One small onion, chopped
1 can or bottle of artichoke hearts, drained (at least nine ounces)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
Dried chile flakes (optional: I used a full dried jalapeno pepper from our garden, and it really provided a kick to the dish. May not be suitable for young children!)
8 ounces sourdough bread, cubed (I didn’t need as much, as I used a smaller casserole dish)
4 ounces cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup) (use your favorite cheese and add more to make it more cheesy)
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (you can use any vegetables you like)
3-6 cloves garlic, minced (depends on how much garlic you like)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
1-3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk (depends on the size of your dish and # of eggs; I used 1 cup)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Dash of ground nutmeg
3-4 large eggs (Use 4 eggs if you use a larger baking dish).
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Heat olive oil in large pan. When hot, add onions and cook at medium high heat for about 4 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and toss for one minute. Add mushrooms and cook for several minutes; before they are done, add your fresh spinach and turn continually until it wilts. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. (Try and remove excess moisture from the spinach).
3. Combine slightly cooled spinach mixture with sourdough bread cubes in a large bowl; toss. Add in cheddar cheese and mix thoroughly. Arrange bread mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. (I used a smaller, round ceramic dish). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
4. Combine milk, Dijon, pepper, nutmeg and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until set. Turn broiler to high (do not remove pan from oven). Broil 4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
5. Serve with a leafy green salad.