Cook the Book – Summer Vegetable Strata

Summer Vegetable Strata

 

12 slices of day old or dry French or Italian Bread, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 clove garlic, slightly crushed
5 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup loosely packed fresh chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 medium summer squash or zucchini, washed and cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 1/2-inch thick
2 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Rub the top of each slice of bread with the garlic clove. Lay the slices in the dish in one layer, cutting them into pieces when necessary. Season lightly with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs then whisk in the milk, half of the cheese, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Add the basil and stir gently.  Set aside. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and colors lightly. Stir the squash into the onion, spread everything in a single layer, and let it sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning; turn and continue cooking another 1 to 2 minutes until browned. When the squash is lightly browned on both sides, stir in the tomatoes, stir to toss, and remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to drain off any excess liquid and spread the vegetables evenly over the bread. Give the milk and egg mixture a stir and gently pour it all into the dish. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the milk and egg mixture sets, about 40-45 minutes. Cool at least 5 minutes, cut into squares and serve.

Serves 6-8

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