|1 large loaf Italian bread, sliced into 1/2 inch-thick pieces||1/4 teaspoon pepper|
|1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese||1 cup fresh basil leaves|
|4 ounces oil-packed sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped (about 2/3 cup)||1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (leaves and stems are fine)|
|1/2 cup pesto (recipe follows)||1 large garlic clove, cut in half|
|4 large eggs||2 tablespoons pine nuts|
|1 cup whole milk or half and half||3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese|
|3/4 teaspoon kosher salt||1/3-1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil|
Preheat the oven to 350°.
For the pesto: In a food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and Parmesan cheese until coarsely ground.
Drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube until a loose but spreadable paste forms. You may not need all the olive oil.
Use immediately or freeze for up to 6 months. The pesto will lose its bright green color if refrigerated or frozen, but won’t lose any of its flavor.
Lay approximately half the bread slices across the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish to fully cover. Don’t be afraid to tear the pieces in half or thirds to fill open spaces.
Slice the mozzarella cheese as thinly as possible and place in a single layer across the top of the bread. Sprinkle the sundried tomatoes evenly across the cheese, then dollop the pesto and spread to cover.
Top the pesto with the remaining half of the bread slices, again tearing as needed to cover evenly.
Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl. Pour evenly over the strata, allowing the liquid to soak into the bread.
Bake the strata for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on top. Allow to cool before slicing.
Wrap in waxed paper and foil to store; to reheat, microwave in the waxed paper for 1 minute, bake in a toaster oven at 350° in the foil for 5 minutes (flipping after 5 minutes for refrigerated slices or 10 minutes for frozen slices), or in a skillet as you would cook a grilled cheese sandwich.
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