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Fontina, Asparagus, and Leek Strata

Yield 6 servings
Stratas are meant to be put together in advance and refrigerated overnight or at least 4 to 6 hours before baking, which makes them ideal for a plan-ahead brunch or supper. Instead of adding a final layer of bread to the top, I prefer to use breadcrumbs, which are less dense. For bread, use sturdy day-old sandwich bread or an Italian bread, sliced about 1/4-inch thick.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
  • 5 cups (1-inch) sliced asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 3 small)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 12 (1-ounce) thin slices firm white sandwich bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 411
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 12.7 g
  • satfat 6.6 g
  • monofat 3.9 g
  • polyfat 1.2 g
  • protein 21.3 g
  • carbohydrate 53.4 g
  • fiber 4.6 g
  • cholesterol 143 mg
  • iron 3.9 mg
  • sodium 609 mg
  • calcium 310 mg

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add asparagus, leeks, and water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, tarragon, lemon rind, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

  2. Arrange half of bread slices in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top bread slices with half of asparagus mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat procedure with the remaining bread, asparagus mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese.

  3. Combine 1/8 teaspoon pepper, milk, eggs, and egg white, and stir with a whisk until well-blended. Pour the milk mixture over strata. Cover strata, and chill for 8 hours or overnight.

  4. Preheat oven to 400°.

  5. Uncover strata; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until set.