12/28/2012 11:30 EST | Updated 02/27/2013 05:12 EST

Make-ahead mushroom, sausage and spinach strata perfect for brunch

This make-ahead mushroom, sausage and spinach strata is ideal to serve for brunch to guests who are staying with you during the holidays. Or the one-dish entree, featuring cheddar, eggs and crusty sourdough, would also be great for a light supper.

Wild Mushroom, Sausage and Spinach Strata

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Chilling time: 12 hours

Baking time: 1 hour

5 ml (1 tsp) butter, plus extra for greasing baking dish

340 g (3/4 lb) Italian sausages (about 3), casing removed and roughly chopped

500 g (1 lb) mixed wild mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

8 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced (50 ml/1/4 cup)

750 ml (3 cups) lightly packed fresh baby spinach

4 large slices (1-cm/1/2-inch thick) day-old sourdough bread

6 eggs

750 ml (3 cups) milk

2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

2 ml (1/2 tsp) freshly ground pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce

Dash hot pepper sauce

500 ml (2 cups) shredded old cheddar cheese

Butter a 3-l (13-by-9-inch) glass baking dish and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add sausage meat and fry, breaking up bits with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and beginning to cook through. Spoon off any excess fat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown a little and sausage is no longer pink. Add onions and spinach and stir until everything is mixed and glossy. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.

Layer bread slices over bottom of dish. Spoon sausage mixture over bread. In a blender, combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce and blend until smooth. Pour mixture evenly over sausage mixture. Top with cheese. Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

When ready to serve, heat oven to 180 C (350 F). Uncover dish and bake strata for 50 to 60 minutes or until puffed and top is crispy and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving when recipe serves 8: 412 calories; 24 g fat; 24 g carbohydrates; 1.5 g fibre; 24 g protein; 984 mg sodium.

Cooking Tips: If you're using a round loaf of sourdough bread, cut the slices from the centre to get the largest slices from the loaf for this recipe. Use the rest of the loaf for sandwiches or cut into cubes and toast for croutons.

Once assembled, strata can be frozen, wrapped well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator overnight before baking.

Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada,