Country Sampler Special Edition
Tomato Cheese Strata
Serve this tomato dish as a main course alongside a green salad, and you’ll have an enjoyable summer meal.
INGREDIENTS 6 cups Italian or French bread, cut into 1" cubes 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons butter 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 6 to 8 tomatoes, cut into 1" cubes 16 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼" x 1" pieces.
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" baking pan. Place the bread cubes in the pan; set aside.
2. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until tender but not browned. Stir in sugar and thyme and about 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper.
3. Spoon half of the onion mixture over the bread cubes in the pan. Arrange overlapping cubes of tomatoes and cheese over the bread and onion mixture. Drizzle the remaining onion mixture over the top of the tomatoes and cheese.
4. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted.
RECIPE COURTESY OF LORRIE ORR, VICTORIA, BC.