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Zucchini Pesto Strata

Zucchini, tomatoes and basil have a natural affinity for one another, as you’ll discover when you taste this flavorful strata. The term “strata” refers to a baked dish of layered ingredients that usually includes a layer of bread. (Based on a recipe from a cookbook called “Quick-Fix Vegetarian” by Robin Robertson)

Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup basil pesto, store-bought or homemade (See Note)
  • 1 cup cooked or canned white beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup store-bought or homemade vegetable broth
  • 4 cups cubed, day-old whole-grain bread
  • 1 ½ pounds zucchini, trimmed (not peeled) and thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, bottled or homemade

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, combine the pesto, beans and blend until smooth. Add the broth and process until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Spread about two-thirds of the bread cubes in the bottom of a lightly oiled gratin or baking dish and layer half of the zucchini slices on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about half of the pesto sauce onto the zucchini and top with half of the tomato slices. Sprinkle the chopped roasted red pepper over the tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Top with a layer of the remaining zucchini slices. Season with salt and pepper and top with the remaining pesto, followed by the remaining tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the remaining bread. Cover and tightly bake until the vegetables are tender and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid and bake until the top is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Notes

If you would like to see a “whole-food” version of pesto, please see the recipe, “Susan’s Homemade Vegan, Whole-Food Pesto” below.