>> Sunday, April 4, 2010
My family has been making quiche for years on Easter Sunday. This year I thought we should try something slightly different, so I came up with this recipe for a Vegetable Strata, which is basically a savory bread pudding.
Tomato and Zucchini Strata with Fresh Mozzarella
2 French Baguettes, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
3 medium zucchini, sliced thin (my store had tiny zucchini today so I used 4)
6-7 ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 16oz balls of fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 good handful fresh basil
1 dozen large eggs
3 cups 1/2 and 1/2
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
In a greased 13x9 casserole dish, place one layer of baguette down, tearing small pieces to fill in any holes.
Heat 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium in a large saute pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion begins to get translucent.
Add the zucchini and another 1/2 TBSP or so of Ex. Virgin. Olive Oil to coat, a good pinch of salt and pepper and toss in the pan to coat everything. Continue cooking the zucchini down until soft, approximately 12-13 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
While zucchini mixture is cooling, whisk together your eggs and 1/2 and half, then season to taste (My family likes black pepper, so I always add a good dose to the eggs).
Next, layer into the casserole dish 1/2 the zucchini mixture, 1/2 of the sliced tomatoes, 1/2 of the mozzarella and sprinkle lightly with the basil. Add another layer of the baguette and repeat until ingredients are gone or you can't fit any more into the dish; ending with a layer of baguette on the top. (Lasagna style layering).
Finally, pour the egg mixture over the top of your casserole, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
The next morning, take the strata from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Bake uncovered for 50-55 minutes until it the top is golden brown and a knife inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.
Since all the prep work for this dish is done the night before, it makes serving brunch a breeze- you can actually sit and visit with friends and family and enjoy a cup of coffee while it's still hot instead of running around the kitchen like a madman!