Monday, May 30, 2005

Tomato and Cheese Strata

Strata is basically a savoury bread and butter pudding.
This recpe is inspired by one found on ibeth's blog.
It's delicious as it is, or it could be dressed up with the addition of ham, mushrooms, asparagus, or spinach.

Tomato and Cheese Strata

1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 smallish tomatoes, chopped (2/3 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs *
1/3 large stale ciabatta roll, cubed
3 Tbsp ricotta **
2 Tbsp sharp cheddar, crumbled
5 eggs
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
salt, pepper
2 Tbsp grated parmesan

  1. Line a small lasagna dish with silicone paper, and preheat oven to 230°C
  2. Fry onions until lightly golden ***
  3. Add garlic and fry for further 2 mins
  4. Add tomatoes and herbs to the pan and heat thru.
  5. Stir the bread into the tomato and add a little boiling water if too dry (bread should be just moistened but not soggy)
  6. Spread the tomato bread mixture in the base of the lasagna dish
  7. Use a teaspoon to drop little dabs of ricotta over the tomato layer
  8. Crumble cheddar over the top
  9. Lightly beat together eggs, cream, milk, salt & pepper, then pour over the tomato and cheese.
  10. Sprinkle parmesan over all
  11. Bake for approx 25 mins, until set and golden on top.

I served this with fried mushrooms and steamed spinach. A salad of thinly sliced fennel, dressed with parmesan shavings, olive oil and lemon juice, helped balance the richness of the meal.

* I used parsley, basil, marjoram and thyme. The thyme was a bit overpowering in the final analysis, and I would probably leave it out next time.

** The original recipe called for goat cheese, but I wanted to use up ricotta I had in the fridge. The ricotta alone probably would have been too bland, so I pepped it up by adding sharp cheddar.

***When I think of it, I fry up twice as much onion as I will need, and freeze half to use later. Having ready-fried onions on hand is a great short cut when you want to throw something together with the minimum of effort.

More strata recipes can be found on and



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