This dish takes no time to put together but, beware, it has to chill for at least two hours before baking.  Then bakes for an hour.  Plan accordingly.


Mozzarella and Pesto Strata
— basilpesto, olives and roasted red bell peppers,baked under a layer of eggs and cheese.

16 slices (3/4 inchthick) French bread (1/2 pound)
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup roasted red bell peppers, (from 12-ounce jar), drained and sliced
2 cups shreddedmozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoonsfreshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Sprayrectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches, with cooking spray. Spread one side ofeach bread slice with pesto. Arrange bread, pesto sides up, in bottom of bakingdish, cutting slices to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with olives, bell peppers andmozzarella cheese.
Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Pour evenly over cheese indish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours butnot longer than 24 hours.
Heat oven to 325ºF.
Bake, uncovered, 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes outclean and top is golden brown.
Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Yield:  8 servings.

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