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BASIL BREAKFAST STRATA

1 cup milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 day old loaf swiss peasant bread or French bread cut into 1/2 inch slices
8 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 cups arugula leaves (1 bunch)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound basil torta cheese, thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup pesto
4 eggs beaten
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

One day before serving, mix the milk and wine in a shallow bowl.
Dip 1 or 2 slices of bread in the milk mixture. Gently squeeze as
much liquid as possible from the bread without tearing it.

Place the bread in a 12 inch round or oval au grain dish and cover
with a slice of prosciutto, several arugula leaves dipped in olive
oil, some slices of basil torta, and a few tomato slices. Drizzle
sparingly with pesto. Repeat the layering, overlapping the bread
slices slightly, until the dish is filled.

Beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour evenly over
the layers in the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
overnight.

The following day remove the dish from the refrigerator and let
warm to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Drizzle the top with the cream and bake until puffy and browned,
45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve immediately.

6 portions


Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 medium size cloves, garlic chopped
1 cup walnut meats (or pine nuts)
1 cup best quality olive oil
1 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated imported Romano cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Process the basil, garlic, and walnuts (or pine nuts) in a food
processor fitted with a steel blade or in 2 batches in a blender,
until finely chopped.

With the machine running, pour in the oil in a thin, steady stream.

Add the cheeses, a big pinch of salt, and a liberal grinding of
pepper. Process briefly to combine. Remove to a bowl and cover
until ready to use.

Yield 2 cups.

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