This recipe just screams spring. I know, the title has entirely too many “s’s”, but I will also tell you that this has been a roaring hit at the breakfast table these last 2 weeks. The guests here don’t seem to mind being the the trial runs for all the new recipes coming out of my kitchen. They are happy to offer suggestions and I will admit to changing a recipe because of energetic discussion at the breakfast table. Asparagus is one of those love it or hate it kind of vegetables. When I first started making this strata I would leave an asparagus free zone in one corner. After observing that corner repeatedly return to the kitchen I stopped that and just loaded this flavorful dish with lots of the best asparagus I could find.
When local asparagus starts to appear I visit a nearby Amish farm for fresh picked bunches of deep green stems with purple tips. Even those who are not sure they like veggies for breakfast, love this strata. Stratas, literally defined as layers, are a very simple and versatile breakfast or brunch dishes consisting of layers of bread and in this instance, vegetables and cheese. They are hearty and satisfying as well as easy. Assemble this the night before, cover and refrigerate to bake in the morning.
I have used a combination of Emmentaler and Gruyère cheese here, the classic fondue mix, but a sharp cheddar will work as well. Feel free to use more spinach, onion and asparagus. It will not ruin the dish!
6 slices Italian bread, 1 inch slices, cubed or torn apart
1/2 medium red pepper, diced
1/4 cup spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup spinach, coarsely chopped or torn apart
1/2 cup yogurt, Greek style
1 Tablespoon mustard, Dijon whole seed
12 oz asparagus tips, sliced on the diagonal
1 cups Emmentaler cheese, grated
1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
Tear the bread slices into small chunks and allow to dry slightly. This is a perfect use for day old bread
Snap off the woody end of the asparagus then slice in 1 inch diagonals
Dice the red pepper
Slice the spring onions
In a sauté pan gently steam the asparagus, onion, and red pepper just till the asparagus turns bright green.
Wash the spinach thoroughly and tear into pieces removing any stems
Mix the yogurt, mustard, milk and eggs together with a whisk
In a 2 quart casserole dish or a 9×13 flat baking dish that has been brushed with olive oil place half of the bread cubes.
Arrange half of the vegetables mixed, across the bread
Sprinkle a cup of the cheese on top of the vegetables
Repeat using the rest of the bread, vegetables and cheese
Pour the egg mixture over the top making sure that all the bread is moistened
Cover with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Uncover and bake at 350F for 40-50 min until a knife comes out clean.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Inactive Time: 12 hours
Oven Temperature: 350°F
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