by Terri Peña
Strata is a dish that needs to be made ahead of time. The bread benefits from time spent in the fridge, letting the egg mixture soak in to every nook and cranny. If you forgot to roast the asparagus, you can still make the strata. Cut the pieces of asparagus fairly small and use as is. The flavor will not be quite as nice as if you had grilled or roasted the vegetable, but it will still be a little slice of spring.
Spring Strata with Roasted Asparagus
- 8 slices of bread, toasted
- 3 tablespoons butter + more for buttering bread
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 lb-ish roasted asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces or left whole (see recipe)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 8 oz shredded cheese - Fontina is nice; use any combination you have on hand
- 6 large eggs
- 1 3/4 cups half & half cream
- Butter the inside of a 9 inch square baking dish. Butter one side of the toasted bread and lay four of the pieces into the bottom of the prepared dish to form the foundation.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs, wine, shallot, and half & half. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the strata layers by scattering half of the roasted asparagus on the buttered bread and top with a third of the cheese. Repeat the bread, vegetable, cheese layer. Pour the egg mixture over the top and reserve the last of cheese to sprinkle over the dish before it goes in the oven.With plastic wrap, tightly cover the strata by pushing the wrap down flush with the surface. Refrigerate for 8 ? 24 hours.
- Take the strata out of the refrigerator and heat the oven to 325F. Remove plastic wrap and spread the last of the cheese over the top. Once the oven is hot, place the strata on the middle rack and bake for one hour. You will know it is done when it is puffed and pulling away from the edge of the pan. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
More recipes: THE TASTES OF SPRING