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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Zuppa Gallurese (Cheesy Bread Soup!)

I've been watching a lot of Lidia's Italy on PBS lately - she's my new favorite. No frills or fancy airbrushed camera shots, just really good food. I saw her make this a while ago and although I was a little unsure about the cabbage, once she took it out of the oven and took a bite - I was dying for it. Soooo ooey gooey and cheesy. When I made it a couple of weeks later, it was as good as I hoped. This is not the healthiest meal and you do have to be a cheese lover...

12 slices of whole wheat country bread, cut 1/2 thick
1/4 tsp salt
1 head Savoy cabbage
2 TB olive oil
1 lb provolone (have the deli cut it in extra thick slices - 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick)
1 TB soft butter
1/2 cup grated romano
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Trim the crusts from the bread and lay them flat on a baking sheet in the oven as it heats. Toast the slices, turn them over once. Remove and let cool and let the oven continue to preheat.

3. Slice the cabbage head in half and cut out the core so the leaves can separate. Lay the halves cut side down and slice into 1 inch strips. Drop them into a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook 10-15 minutes or until tender.

4. When the cabbage is done, drain them in a colander and rinse under cool water. Let drain and put them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a touch of salt. Toss well.

5. Butter the sides and bottom of a deep baking dish. Add a layer of bread to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the cabbage in a layer over the bread. Lay all of the provolone on top of the cabbage in a single layer. Sprinkle half of the grated cheese. Spread the remaining cabbage and top it with another layer of bread. (If the bread is over the edge of the dish, press down to compress the layers a bit)

6. Slowly pour the stock all over the bread so that everything is moistened. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top.

7. Tent the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes until the juices are bubbling. Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the top is brown all over.

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