- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 15 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4 to 6
A French take on strata, or savory bread pudding, this simple summer dish contains zucchini, onion and tomatoes layered with slices of baguette, then baked with chicken stock and a little cream.
- One 6-ounce baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium zucchini (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 medium tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds total), sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Arrange the baguette slices on a large baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season the bread with salt and pepper and bake for about 6 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
- In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the zucchini, onion and thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the broth and the heavy cream and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer half of the zucchini mixture to a plate and reserve.
- Spread the remaining zucchini in an even layer in the skillet. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the Gruyère and 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and top with a layer of toasted baguette slices. Spread the reserved zucchini mixture over the toasts and sprinkle with an additional 2 tablespoons of Gruyère and 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Arrange alternatively slices of tomato and baguette on top in concentric circles. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Gruyère and 3 tablespoons of grated cheese. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Carefully pour the remaining 1/4 cup of broth around the edge of the skillet and over the top.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is richly browned and the tomatoes have released their juices. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This strata is wonderful with a light, velvety red, like one from Italy's Valpolicella region or a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.