Artichoke & Prosciutto Strata
In my home town of Mendocino, there is a well-known restaurant called Cafe Beaujolais. For years, the owner and chef, Margaret Fox turned out some of the most wonderful dishes on the coast. During that time she and John Bear authored two special cookbooks based upon the menu at Cafe Beaujolais. Both books are terrific, but I really enjoy Morning Food because it brings back memories of her legendary breakfasts at the Cafe.
Although Margaret has sinced moved on from Cafe Beaujolais… the restaurant is still in operation and continues to receive rave reviews.
Visit Margaret’s Website for a Personalized Copy of Morning Food
makes 1 8-inch square pan
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup porcini soaking liquid
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups half-and-half
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 8 cups (or 10 ounces) ocubed crusty bread – approx 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips (then measured)
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (or I use fresh baby artichokes)
- 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped into 1/2 inch strips
- 1/2 cup grated Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Step 1: Soak the porcini in hot water to cover for about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and chop the mushrooms fine. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter or several layers of cheesecloth to remove any grit. Reserve 1/2 cup.
Step 2: Beat together the eggs, half-and-half, porcini liquid, salt and pepper until well blended. Adjust for seasoning. Place bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the egg mixture over it. Stir and let sit for 30 minutes…. stir occasionally.
Step 3: r Place half the bread cubes on the bottom of a lightly buttered 8-inch square pan. Layer over this all the basil and dill, all of the artichoke hearts, half the prosciutto, half the porcini, half the fontina, and half the goat cheese. Cover with the other half of the bread cubes, and layer on the remaining ingredients in the same sequence. Sprinkle with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pour any remaining custard over the top.
Step 4: Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, uncovered. If the top starts to brown too much – cover with foil. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.