Eat: Mozzarella and Pesto Strata
One beautiful spring day I came across a recipe for a thing called mozzarella and pesto strata. I had only used pesto one other time in my life (in a pasta dish), and LOVED it. So, why not try it again?
This is not a twice a month recipe in our house (which means we like it a lot). Everyone. Even picky Asante. Well, most of the time he likes it. Bonus: It’s a great recipe for kids to help with because there’s a lot of pouring, sprinkling, and spreading involved.
1 loaf of wheat french bread, cut into 1-inch slices
1 can of sliced black olives
1/2 jar of pesto (found in the aisle with the spaghetti sauce)
1/2 jar of roasted red tomatoes (or I suppose you could roast your own if you’re into that)
1/2 cup of milk
3/4 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
handful of shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut french bread into 1-inch slices. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan and lay all of them out flat, trying to squeeze them in pretty tight.
2. Spread a little pesto on each slice. I normally use 1/2 jar (and save the rest for the next time I make it).
3. Sprinkle black olives, red tomatoes, mozzarella cheese (in that order) on top of the pesto-covered bread.
4. Crack eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and salt and pepper. Mix it up really well, and then add it on top of the dish. It should be on top and fall down to the bottom.
|see the yellowy egg stuff sitting on top?|
5. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but no more than 24 hours. From experience, if you leave it set for the shorter amount of time, everything is crisper, less mixed together after baking. If you are looking for a “where does this ingredient end and the next begin” kind of experience, refrigerate it for the longer time (the bread ends up soaking up more of the egg/milk mixture).
5. When ready, put it in the oven (350 degrees) for 45 minutes. If it’s still not all the way done, put it in for another 10 minutes or so. You can even add a handful of shredded Parmesan cheese for the last 5 minutes of baking.
I always like to serve it with some fruit or smoothies for a “breakfast for dinner” type of meal. Of course, it’d be a nice breakfast or brunch too! This is one of three meals that I make for other people (when people have babies/are sick/etc.). It’s tasty, easy to reheat, and goes a long way (plus it’s full of protein!).