Strata with tomatoes, herbs, and goatcheese
This simple one-pot meal is originally a peasant's meal. It's quite hearty and very simple to make while on the move, whether in a hostel kitchen or a friend's house.
Being a peasant dish, the ingredients can be mixed up with most anything in your kitchen (or from the corner store), the following are a really tasty starting point. Do try this experiment with your ingredients such as chives, bacon, zucchini, peppers and ham, and cheeses like cheddar, Gorgonzola or Brie. This dish will serve 4 hungry travelers with ease.
- 1/2 pound stale rustic bread in 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, 1 sliced in half and the other finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatos, each in 1/3-inch thick slices
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons picked fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt, kosher salt is best for taste
- 1/2 teaspoon rough ground black pepper
- 2 cups of milk
- 4 large eggs
Preparing this Italian dish:
Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Spread oil on a 2 quart baking dish. Take the garlic halves and rub down the bread slices with them. Mix the minced garlic with the tomatoes, season the mix with some salt and pepper, and put it aside. Take half the bread slices and layer them in the baking dish. Top with half of the tomatoes, half the cheeses, half the herbs and half the salt and pepper. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.
Now beat the eggs and milk until well mixed and pour over the bread-tomato mixture. Place the dish on a baking sheet. Put into the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes until it's puffed up and browned.
Tastiest served hot. Just writing this makes me hungry for Italian food. Serve with some chianti and salad on the side.
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