Warm Panzanella

MS Conversations Recipe of the MonthAutumn is almost here!  The air is getting cooler and the leaves are starting to fall.  When you go to the store, it seems that everything is apple or pumpkin spiced. Fall is a great time to make delicious dishes, savory sides and fruity desserts that will warm your heart and soul. Below is a recipe idea that is easy to make and is delicious to eat as a side dish or even a meal.

Ingredients:

Butter, for greasing and to dot the top
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 peppers-any ones you like (the sweeter the better)
1 red onion, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
8 eggs
1 pint cream or half-and-half
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (you can also use dry herbs)
Small handful fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced  (you can also use dry herbs)
6 cups chopped or torn stale bread

Directions:

  1. Grease a casserole dish with some butter, set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add the garlic, peppers, and onions together and then stir.
  3. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool.
  6. Whisk together (in a separate bowl) the eggs, cream and half of the cheese, add parsley, basil and some more salt and pepper.
  7. Layer the bread and cooled vegetables in the casserole dish, it will mound up a bit. Pour the egg mixture over top of the casserole and top with the remaining cheese.
  8. Add a few dots of butter.
  9. Cover and chill overnight.To serve, bring the casserole to room temperature. Then bake at 375 degrees until cooked through. It will need to cook for about 1 hour. Serve warm.  Serves 6-8 people.
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