Asparagus Strata

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Asparagus and Broccolli Rabe Strata  (c) 2012 barefoot photos
Asparagus and Broccolli Rabe Strata
(c) 2012 barefoot photos

Asparagus and Broccolli Rabe Strata

Whenever I have guests for breakfast, I usually whip up a strata because it can be prepared the night before AND it tastes delicious.

A highly variable dish, this asparagus version is a bit drier that some you may have tried, but guests have remarked that they especially like the texture. A bonus is using whole grain bread which helps to boost the nutritional value.

Hope your early morning folks enjoy it as much as my writing group does! Serve warmed leftovers with a green, balsamic vinaigrette salad for a de-lish dinner.

INGREDIENTS

1.5 lb. asparagus spears

1 T. olive oil

8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms

1 lb. chopped, thawed, drained broccoli rabe (optional)

2 cloves garlic or 2 garlic flower stalks

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

3 C. or 1/2 lb. grated Swiss cheese

2 T. chopped fresh dill weed or 1 tsp. dried dill

1 (1 lb.) loaf whole wheat bread – I used a sunflower whole grain loaf (break the bread into 1 or 2 inch chunks and allow to dry out for a day or two – alternatively toast VERY lightly in the oven set on WARM)

10 large eggs

2 C. skim milk

1 C. half and half

1/2 C. grated Romano cheese

PREPARATION

1. Clean and cut asparagus spears into 3 inch pieces. Bring 2 inches of water to boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus pieces. Boil one minute, uncovered. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2. Lightly grease 10 X 14 inch pan.Set aside.

3. In skillet, heat oil and add mushrooms, broccoli rabe, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Toss grated Swiss cheese and snipped dill weed in a large bowl.

5. Arrange 1/2 bread pieces on bottom of baking dish.

6. Layer half the mushroom mixture, half the cheese, and half the asparagus.

7. Repeat with remaining mushrooms, cheese, and asparagus.

8. Top with remaining bread pieces.

9. Beat together eggs, milk, and half-and-half. Pour over mixture in pan. Press down with back of spoon to thoroughly moisten.

10. Chill a couple of hours or overnight.

11. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Twenty minutes into the baking, pull pan from oven and press down with back of spoon again. Then sprinkle with grated Romano cheese and return to oven. Strata will be done when top is nicely browned and most liquid is absorbed. Allow dish to sit for a while before serving.