Strata is a kind of layered casserole featuring eggs and bread. There as many variations of strata as you can imagine. One day, at the end of the summer growing season, I imagined strata that would effectively use garden-fresh zucchini without making my family and neighbors scream, No…not another zucchini dish!
What makes this dish special? The proper blend of four unique cheeses. In addition to aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, I add full-bodied Provolone Dolce, white cheddar and Greek feta to the focaccia bread base. Throw in a little fresh Italian parsley, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper and you have a dish that will put a smile on all of the faces at your breakfast or your dinner table.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini (halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 cups garlic focaccia (cut into 1-inch cubes)
¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated)
½ cup provolone cheese (shredded)
½ cup white cheddar cheese (shredded)
¼ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
3 large eggs (beaten lightly)
1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Add oil to a large skillet and cook zucchini over medium-high heat until just browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place half of the bread pieces in the prepared baking dish. Top with half of the zucchini and half of each of the cheeses. Repeat with remaining bread, zucchini, and cheese.
Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Pour evenly over layers in baking dish. Using the back of a large spoon, gently press down on layers.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Garnish with fresh parsley and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Tip: This is an easy make-ahead dish. Prepare as above and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours prior to baking as directed above.