RECIPE

BLT Italian Strata

Italian and American favorites blend together in this versatile dish.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Preparation

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.

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