When it's the middle of the week and I am tired, cranky, and busy, I like to make myself a delicious strata - something between an omelette and a crustless quiche. There is virtually no cooking involved in this strata recipe - all you have to do is assemble the pieces and throw them into the oven for a little less than an hour. While it bakes you can unwind in the bath or read a magazine. Use a store-made basil pesto and purchase a bag of pre-grated cheese to cut prep time in half. For a heartier strata, toss sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto into the dish before baking. Don't ask yourself what's for dinner tonight - simply make this dish - trust me you'll be satisfied, just
16 slices (3/4 inch thick) French bread (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup store bought basil pesto
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup roasted red bell peppers, (from 12-ounce jar), drained and sliced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- Spray rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, with cooking spray.
- Spread one side of each bread slice with pesto. Arrange bread, pesto sides up, in bottom of baking dish, cutting slices to fit if necessary.
- Sprinkle with olives, bell peppers and mozzarella cheese.
- Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour evenly over cheese in dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Heat oven to 325ºF. Bake uncovered 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
Make ahead: cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 360 (Calories from Fat 200 ); Total Fat 22 g (Saturated Fat 8 g); Cholesterol 235 mg; Sodium 720 mg; Total Carbohydrate 21 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g); Protein 21 g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 34 %; Vitamin C 24 %; Calcium 42 %; Iron 12 % Exchanges: 1 Starch; 1 Vegetable; 2 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat