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Spring Asparagus & Cheese Strata
Main Courses, Sides
Date: June 6, 2017
- 4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 1 cup leek cleaned and chopped (white part mostly)
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1" lengths
- 3 cups half & half or milk
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 10 eggs
- 8 cups (½-inch) cubed Ciabatta bread
- 1½ cups shredded Gruyère/Jarlsberg/Swiss Cheese
- Sauté onion, leek and garlic together. When onion mixture begins to brown, add asparagus. Add water to cover, cover with lid and reduce heat to low; simmer 15-20 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10-15 more minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
- Cool onion mixture in a large bowl. Steam or sauté asparagus to bright green, do not overcook!
- Combine the milk, mustard, egg and seasonings (S&P) and stir with a whisk until mixture is well blended. Stir liquid mix into the onion mixture. Add bread, tossing gently to coat.
- Arrange half of the bread mixture in a single layer in a buttered 13x9 casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cubed bread, half the asparagus, half the cheese, and pour half of the egg mixture overtop.
- Repeat the process: Add another layer of cubed bread, asparagus, cheese, and egg mixture. Press down on the mixture with your (clean) hands or spatula to help the bread soak up more of the milk mixture.
- Cover strata, and chill 8 hours or overnight.
- Remove strata from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with ½ cup cheese; bake an additional 20 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
- If the inside is still runny, it's not cooked through yet and needs more time in the oven. If the top starts to get too browned, you can cover again with aluminum foil.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6 main or 10 side servings