- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small onion, chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound prewashed baby spinach
- 10 large eggs
- 3 cups half and half
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 cups 1½- to 2-inch cubed Italian bread, from a 14- to 16-ounce loaf
- ½ pound grated Gruyere cheese, about 2 cups
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add the Canadian bacon, onion, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and cook for two minutes. Add half of the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring as needed, for one minute. Add the remaining spinach and cook one minute longer, until just wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and set the mixture aside until ready to use.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, half-and-half, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg until well combined.
Butter a 3-quart baking dish with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Add half of the bread, then top with half of the spinach mixture and half of the grated cheese. Repeat the layers. Pour the egg mixture into baking dish and gently submerge the bread. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake the casserole uncovered until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes (cooktime will vary based on depth of baking dish). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.