BLT Italian Strata
Italian and American favorites blend together in this versatile dish.
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 4 cups cubed bread, from 1/2 baguette or any good-quality bread
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
- 8 leaves fresh basil, sliced
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella or smoked mozzarella, cubed
- Butter, for greasing 4 ramekins
- 2 cups baby arugula
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Position a rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat it to 350ºF.
In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.
While the bacon is cooking, in a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and reserved bacon. Mix to combine. Set aside until ready to bake.
Rub the inside of 4 ramekins with butter. Scoop the bread mixture into each ramekin, pressing down so that it all fits tightly. Carefully pour the egg mixture over everything.
Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered until puffed and golden brown and a knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. (Ramekins can be stuffed ahead of time and put in the refrigerator. They’ll need an extra 10-15 minutes to bake.) Let stand for a few minutes.
In a medium size bowl, toss the arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top each ramekin with some arugula and serve.