Adding leftover, stale bread to various dishes is an old Mediterranean tradition dictated by the frugal ways of our ancestors. Strata is a kind of savory bread pudding, a frittata with vegetables or greens that are ingeniously complemented by toasted stale bread cubes.
Soups, salads, and frittata get even better with crunchy, toasted bread cubes. We especially love the flavor and slight crunch the croutons from heavy, unshifted flour bread adds to any vegetable in the frittata.
I slice and cube the leftovers of the mixed-grain, heavy, old-fashioned, wood-fired loaves that we get each week from our village bakery, toss with olive oil and roast in the oven, until completely dry. When cool I keep in jars.
It is wonderful added in any bean or vegetable soup, while on the islands of the Cyclades twice-baked bread often adorned the simple fish soups.
In our winter frittatas I often make with our neighbor’s incredible eggs, these delicious mixed-grain croutons complement beautifully the roasted squash omelet/strata that I make. (more…)