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4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 pound day-old sandwich bread

1 pint milk

1 pint tomato sauce, homemade preferred

10 ounces mozzarella or Port-Salut cheese, sliced

½ tablespoon herbs de Provence

6 large eggs

½ cup Parmesan Reggiano, grated




Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter the bottom and sides of a large casserole.


Overlap slices of bread that have been moistened in milk over the bottom of the container.  Spoon on a layer of tomato sauce.  Add a layer of cheese slices and sprinkle on the dried herbs.  Finish with a second layer of  bread slices.


Beat the eggs with a fork to thoroughly blend them.  Sprinkle on the grated cheese. Drizzle this mixture over the casserole poking holes with a fork to aid in the absorption of the eggs into the dish.  Allow the dish to stand a few minutes. Drizzle on more tomato sauce in a decorative pattern.


Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour, until the top of the strata is firm and browned.  Cut into wedges and serve.





Advance Planning:

Strata can be made the evening before, refrigerated overnight and baked in the morning.  If made two days in advance, cook, cool, refrigerate and reheat before serving.