tomato, asparagus, and leek strata
Author: Diana Pittet
Yields: 8 servings
- 1 pound Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, sliced
- 1 medium leek
- 1 pound asparagus
- 2 tablespoons butter, more for the baking dish
- Salt and pepper
- 10 large eggs
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 day-old baguette or country loaf (about 10-12 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
- 8 ounces of grated Gruyere or Fontina cheese (about 2 ½ cups)
- Prep the vegetables: Stem the tomatoes and cut into eighths. Thinly slice the white and green part of the leek into half moons to yield 1 cup. Cut off the ends of the asparagus spears and cut into 1-inch pieces to yield about 2 ½ cups.
- Cook the vegetables: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the leeks. Season them with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and stir frequently until the leeks soften and are beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the asparagus. Stir to combine and then let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning. Stir and then let sit for another 1 to 2 minutes until both the asparagus and leeks are browned in places. Take skillet off the heat and stir in the tomatoes.
- Make the custard: Beat the eggs in a bowl or large pitcher and whisk in the milk and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Assemble the strata: Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread half the bread in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Top with an even layer of half of the vegetables, half of the custard, and then half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread, vegetables, custard, and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and press down on the bread to make sure it is submerged in the custard. Refrigerate for at least four hours and up to a day before baking.
- Bake the strata: Take the strata out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Take the plastic off the strata and bake until the custard is set, 45-55 minutes. Don’t worry if the middle is not quite set if the rest of the strata is firm. It will set as it cools. If, however, the custard is not set after 55 minutes and the top is browning, cover loosely with foil and bake until it sets, checking every 5 minutes. When ready, take out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes and then cut into squares and serve.