Smoked Salmon and Spinach Goat Cheese Strata

Gluten free strata recipe with waffles
A secret ingredient makes this gluten-free strata recipe special.

The day was clear and chilly here by the mesa. Perfect for a pinon fire in the kiva. We lit vanilla candles and played my favorite mix of winter music- traditional Jewish and Celtic with a little Tom Waits, Sarah McLachlan and Joni Mitchell- pining about rivers or snow or waltzing Matilda- thrown in.

Gluten-Free Smoked Salmon and Spinach Goat Cheese Strata Recipe

Serving strata makes entertaining so easy. And the colors are so festive. Make it a day ahead to let the custard seep in and get happy. My secret? I don't use bread. I use gently toasted gluten-free waffles instead--- and Babycakes! Such a golden pastry-like crust they make. It melts in your mouth. Like buttah.


Extra virgin olive oil
8 plain gluten-free waffles, lightly toasted
3 cups hand torn pieces of smoked salmon
1 20 oz. bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained well
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
A pinch of nutmeg, to taste
1 15-oz jar organic red and yellow roasted peppers, drained, seeded, cut into strips
12 medium to large organic free-range eggs
1 cup Half and Half
Nutmeg or Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
8 oz. fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan


Prepare a large lasagna-style baking pan- say, 12 x 15 inches- by schmearing it with extra virgin olive oil.

Tear the cooled waffles into two or three pieces and line the bottom and sides of the oiled pan to make a crust.

Dump the thawed spinach into a warm skillet, add the garlic, season with sea salt and pepper. Stir and cook it down over medium to low heat until all the liquid is reduced, about ten minutes. Press with paper towels, if needed, to remove all the moisture. You don't want a soggy strata, now do you? Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the heck out of the dozen eggs and add the milk. Add a dash of nutmeg or Old Bay Seasoning, to taste.

Assemble the strata:

Scatter the smoked salmon all over the waffles. Cut and layer the goat cheese evenly over the salmon. Spread the garlicky spinach evenly over the goat cheese. Press the spinach with a flat spatula [if there is any remaining liquid, blot it up with a clean paper towel]. Add a layer of red and yellow pepper strips. Pat gently with the spatula to flatten. Slowly pour the egg custard all over the layers, and allow the mixture to seep in and around all the nooks and crannies, without disturbing the layers. You want the egg custard to reach the bottom crust and soak in. Sprinkle some shredded Parmesan all over the top- but not too much- let the beautiful red and green colors of the spinach and peppers show through.

Cover the strata with plastic wrap and chill overnight (or at least eight hours).

Next Day:

Remove the strata from the fridge thirty minutes before baking. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Take off the plastic wrap and bake the strata in the center of the oven till set and slightly golden. For me, that was about 45 to 50 minutes, but it can cook for up to an hour, depending upon the size and depth of your dish, your altitude, etc.. Just keep an eye on it. Test the center with a wooden pick to make sure it is cooked all the way through.

Set the strata on a wire rack for ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 6 hearty appetites or 8 as a light meal or side dish.

Serve with muffins and a winter fruit salad, if desired.

Need to make some waffles for a crust? My Savory Waffle recipe is here.

Recipe Source:

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Karen in Escondido said...

I totally fabulous of you to post a strata recipe as my parents are in the kitchen venturing making a GF ham & cheese strata. They are using toasted tapioca bread. I am so looking forward to it Christmas morning breakfast. I spent the day making GF cornbread for stuffing, and pies galore (crusts are not my forte) we shall see. I will definately share this recipe. Happy Holidays.

Shaheen said...

Can I use canned tuna instead of salmon? The strata looks delicious!Wish u and your family happy holidays and a very Happy New Year

Karina said...

Hi Karen!

How's the weather in Escondido? We've been waking to zero degrees. Ack. I'm California dreamin'... ;-)

Happy Holidays to you and your family, too; and please let us know how your strata [with tapioca bread] turned out.

Shasheen~ I don't see why not. I bet you could sub canned tuna or salmon, easily. Just drain it well.

I prefer the Italian tuna packed only in olive oil and salt.

Happy, Healthy New Year to you, too!

Garrett said...

*HUG* Happy holidays darling! Send me some of your food to help me celebrate the new year!

Shannon said...

Yum! Makes me want to host an all-girl's brunch. Hmmm...may have to plan that.

Karina said...

Hey Garrett!

Have a fabulous, safe, and healthy 2007! xoxo

Karina said...

Shannon ~ It's fab. And my guests [all non-celiac] ate every crumb. This is one of those recipes you don't have to serve with a "gluten free" warning. ;-)

elliedee said...

Mmmm. I think I'm changing my breakfast menu to include this!

Carin said...

I made this for my inauguration brunch yesterday and it was such a big hit! Thank you!

I used Van's gluten-free waffles because my waffle-maker dates back to my gluten days. And I used light coconut milk because I had two lactose-intolerant guests. I just thought I would report that it still came out well with those substitutions.

Thanks again for all your recipes.

Karina Allrich said...

Elliedee- It's a great recipe for brunch.

Carin- I'm so glad (and honored that my recipe was part of your celebration). I've used Van's waffles in this recipe, too. Tasty. I love the idea of coconut milk! Wow, I bet it was good.


Julie said...

re the salmon, spinach, goat cheese strata: Do you think i could substitute Hemp milk (original flavor) for half & half? THanks, Julie

Karina Allrich said...

Julie- I don't see why not. Or an almond milk, if you can do nuts. I use hemp milk in my creamy sauces and it's quite good. My favorite is Hemp Dream. Let me know if you try it- and what you think. Will you be using vegan cheese? You may have to boost seasonings a bit.


Tartelette said...

Oh yes! We love those waffles so add goat cheese and smoked salmon and I know it will be *heaven* on a plate.

Have a very Merry Christmas Karina!

Thank you for your dedication all these years/posts.


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