Since other cooks complained that it was bland, I added 4 cloves of garlic to the leeks and sauteed them before steaming them with the asparagus. I used a whole-grain baguette, which I think is more flavorful than white bread. I used more lemon rind and fresh tarragon than the recipe called for, and I didn't have Fontina cheese, so I combined part-skim mozzarella, low-fat sharp cheddar, and Romano---and the flavors were great. I refrigerated it for just 4-5 hours before baking it, and it was firm, tasty, and a hearty vegetarian meal. I served it with cooked winter squash. Great way to use up some stale bread, but I rarely have asparagus and leeks in the garden at the same time. (Leeks are a fall crop here, and asparagus comes in the spring.)
Fontina, Asparagus, and Leek Strata
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.
More From Cooking Light
- Calories: 411
- Calories from fat: 28%
- Fat: 12.7g
- Saturated fat: 6.6g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.9g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1.2g
- Protein: 21.3g
- Carbohydrate: 53.4g
- Fiber: 4.6g
- Cholesterol: 143mg
- Iron: 3.9mg
- Sodium: 609mg
- Calcium: 310mg
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Uncover strata; sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until set.
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