Asparagus Strata with Zesty Mediterranean Garnish
First-of-spring asparagus is dressed up with minimal effort in this beautiful dish. The subtle, rich flavors of the strata are enlivened by the bright garnish.
- 16 to 20 thin asparagus spears
- 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen country style potatoes, thawed
- 3 cups grated cheddar or jack cheese (or your favorite flavorful cheese)
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
Zesty Mediterranean Garnish
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 to 3 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed and cut into thin strips
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Cut the tough ends off the asparagus spears. Place the potatoes in the bottom of a lightly buttered 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with the grated cheese.
- Place the asparagus spears in a criss-cross pattern on top of the cheese, pressing them down a bit. Combine the eggs with the milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the egg batter over the asparagus.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Serve with the Mediterranean Garnish in a pretty bowl on the side.
For Mediterranean Garnish
- Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat and cook the shallot and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and sauté until the asparagus is bright green and crisp tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.
355 calories, 25 g. fat, 256 mg. cholesterol, 686 mg. sodium, 13 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 20 g. protein