BLT Italian Strata

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 8:00 AM, November 1, 2010

Aired November 1, 2010

Serves Serves 4
8 slices bacon, chopped
6 large eggs
1 cups whole milk
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter, softened
4 cups diced bread, from 1/2 baguette or any nice bread
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
8 leaves fresh basil, sliced
1 cup fresh mozzarella or smoked mozzarella, cubed
Butter, for greasing 4 ramekins
2 cups baby arugula
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 F.

In a small skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve.

While the bacon is cooking, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and reserved bacon. Mix to combine. Set aside until ready to bake

Rub the inside of 4 ramekins with butter. Scoop bread mixture into each ramekin, pressing down so it all fits tightly. Carefully pour the egg mixture over everything.

Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered until puffed and golden brown, and a knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. (Ramekins can be stuffed ahead of time and put in the refrigerator. They'll need an extra 10-15 minutes to bake.) Let stand for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top each ramekin with some arugula and serve.