Spring Strata With Asparagus, Leeks, Sausage, and Cheese Recipe

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Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Oven-drying the bread allows it to absorb more moisture.
  • A low, 325°F oven cooks the egg custard gently.

Best described as a savory bread pudding, strata can be prepared ahead and then thrown in the oven shortly before serving. This one features bread baked with an eggy custard, asparagus, leeks, mushrooms, sausage, and Gruyère cheese.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound white bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (1 loaf; 450g)

  • 5 tablespoons (75ml) vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, diced (about 8 ounces; 225g)

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound (450g) asparagus, woody ends trimmed and asparagus cut into 1-inch lengths

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 pound (225g) cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

  • 1 pound (450g) Italian sausage, casings discarded

  • 8 ounces Gruyère cheese, 6 ounces (170g) diced and 2 ounces (55g) grated, divided (225g total)

  • 2 tablespoons (about 4g) minced flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 teaspoon (about 1g) minced fresh thyme leaves

  • 10 large eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) milk

Directions

  1. Adjust oven racks to lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 275°F. Spread bread evenly over two rimmed baking sheets. Stagger trays on oven racks and bake until mostly dried, about 35 minutes, rotating trays and stirring bread cubes several times during baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add leek and garlic and cook, stirring, until just starting to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add asparagus, season with salt and pepper, and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Scrape into a large mixing bowl. Wipe out skillet.

  3. In the same skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons (45ml) oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until liquid has been released and has evaporated and mushrooms are starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add sausage and cook, using spatula or spoon to break up into small pieces, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Scrape into bowl with asparagus and add cubed cheese, parsley, and thyme.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk until well combined.

  5. Add dried bread to asparagus and sausage mixture, pour egg mixture on top, season with salt and pepper, and mix until well combined. Transfer to a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F. Remove plastic from baking dish and bake strata until egg is cooked through to center, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle grated cheese on top, turn on broiler, and broil on top rack just until cheese is melted and surface of strata is lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Serve.

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheets, 9- by 13-inch baking dish

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
693 Calories
43g Fat
41g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 693
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 55%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 302mg 101%
Sodium 1192mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 535mg 41%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 743mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)