Ribollita Strata

Aired April 26, 2011

Serves Serves 6
5 to 6 cups (enough to fill a medium casserole dish) peasant-style bread, torn or cubed
1/4 cup EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 to 3 small ribs celery with leafy tops, chopped
1 small bunch Tuscan, dinosaur or curly kale, stemmed and thinly sliced or 1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, wrung dry and separated
A few grates of nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram, 1/3 palmful
A few sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 stem rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
9 large eggs
1 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 350F.

Arrange bread on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Turn off oven.

Chop vegetables and heat a large skillet with EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots and celery, and sweat veggies a few minutes. Wilt in the kale or add the spinach. Season with nutmeg, oregano or marjoram, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook 8-10 minutes to tender. Stir in tomato paste, cook 1 minute then add stock and simmer 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

Pour mixture over bread, add a few handfuls of cheese, about 3/4 cup. Toss to combine, transfer to a baking dish and cool.

Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Pour eggs over cooled bread casserole, cover and chill overnight or a minimum of a couple of hours.

Heat oven to 400F. Top the casserole with a drizzle of EVOO and remaining cheese. Bake until puffed and golden, 45 minutes.

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