Here are two things Jake doesn’t like…this recipe includes mushrooms and he also really hates the consistency of bread and butter casserole. You may remember when I tried it before, which was actually the last meal I made before heading down to Tucson for a weekend to look for an apartment to move here. Time flies. Anyway, I talked about being worried about having too much moisture in it and I can assure you that this one turned out BETTER than all right. In fact, it was far superior to the previous one. I guess that’s what you get when you use a recipe out of my favorite cookbook, the “Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking.” I think it also made a difference that this time I bought and sliced a REAL ciabatta loaf, and didn’t use one of those precut bread loaves you use for sandwiches and regrets. I was going to wait till after the holidays to post this recipe. But then I realized that this is the perfect recipe for the first day of the New Year…and the inevitable glimmer of hangover that looms. I couldn’t deprive you of this.
Spinach Bread and Butter Casserole
1 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
1 ciabatta loaf, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated
2 1/4 cups milk
nutmeg, to taste
1. Grease a long casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil. Spread the butter on the slices of bread and arrange them in the bottom and sides of a long casserole dish.
2. In a small skillet or saucepan, fry the onion and mushrooms in the olive oil till tender. Add the cumin, spinach, salt and black pepper and mix thoroughly over low heat.
3. Spread a layer of half the spinach mixture in the casserole dish, then a layer of half the cheese, then a final layer of spinach and one of cheese.
4. Beat the eggs and milk together. Gradually add in some salt, black pepper and nutmeg.
5. Pour the mixture slowly over the whole dish. Set it aside for an hour to allow it to soak into the bread.
6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
7. Bake the casserole 40-45 minutes or till risen, golden brown and crispy on top.