LAYERED CHEESE STRATA
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.
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.