Elegant Breakfast Strata
1 Cup Milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 loaf day old French Bread
2 Cups loosely packed, chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound Smoked Gouda cheese - thinly sliced, divided
3 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced, divided
1/2 cup basil pesto
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
Lightly grease 12-inch au gratin dish or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan. In shallow bowl, combine milk and wine. Dip bread, 1 or 2 slices at a time, in milk mixture. Gently squeeze as much liquid as possible from bread, taking care not to tear. Place bread slices in prepared dish.
Cover bread with cilantro and drizzle with olive oil. Layer half of the cheese and half of the tomato slices over the bread. Top with half of the pesto. Repeat layers of cheese, tomato and pesto. In medium bowl, beat eggs and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour evenly over layered mixture. Carefully pour cream over top and cover with plastic. Chill overnight.
About 3 hours before serving, remove strata from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pan on baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until puffy and browned - about one hour.