Prep 2 hrs 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Preparation time is a guesstimate. From vegetarian times. "This warm-weather, one-pot meal is surprisingly light when fresh from the oven. An earthenware casserole is best because the slow radiant heat creates a crust along the edges that is one of the tastiest parts of the dish. Best eaten when just made, this dish will reheat well in a microwave oven. Kids love it."
- 1 1⁄2 ounces mixture dried wild mushrooms (such as oyster mushrooms and porcini mushrooms)
- 1 quart boiling water
- 2 large onions, sliced (1 1/2 lb.)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄2 lbs stale crusty country bread, cut into thick slices
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- 10 ounces coarsely grated gruyere cheese
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)
- Place mushrooms in large heatproof container, and add boiling water. Cover, and infuse 1 to 2 hours, or until mushrooms are tender. Strain infusion, and reserve infusion liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms, and set aside in large bowl.
- Place onions, butter and sugar in large skillet, cover and sweat over medium heat 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and beginning to caramelize on bottoms. Add salt, and stir in flour to thicken. Place onions in bowl, and deglaze skillet with about 1 cup mushroom infusion, whisking well. Pour deglazing liquid into mushroom infusion.
- Preheat oven to 375°F Spray 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
- Layer bread in casserole. Chop any remaining bread into small irregular pieces, and set aside. Combine mushrooms and tomatoes, and cover bread layer with mixture. Combine Gruyère cheese and sage, and scatter evenly over mushroom-tomato mixture. Cover with chopped bread. Spread onions over bread, and add mushroom infusion. Pat smooth with back of wooden spoon. Sprinkle cheese and caraway seeds, if using, over top.
- Bake uncovered 45 to 55 minutes, or until set and crispy on top. Serve hot directly from oven.