Asparagus-Cheese Strata

Asparagus-Cheese Strata

   The strata became popular during the Depression because it was an easy and economical way to use up day-old bread. Adding asparagus to this traditional recipe makes a nourishing one-dish meal.
    It may also include meat or other vegetables. The usual preparation requires the bread be layered with the filling to produce layers (strata).
   This dish requires a rest of anywhere between one hour and overnight before baking. Then served warm.

1-package (10 ounces) frozen cut asparagus
8-slices day-old whole wheat bread or white, with the crusts removed
1-1/2- cups shredded Muenster or part-skim mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
1-1/2-cups low-fat (1% milk fat) milk
3-large eggs
2-large egg whites
1-teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2-teaspoon dry mustard
1/4-teaspoon black pepper
1/4-teaspoon salt

Step 1...Cook the frozen cut asparagus according to the package directions, and drain well.

Step 2...Cut the bread into 2-inch squares and line the bottom of a lightly greased 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish with half of the bread squares. Layer half of the Muenster cheese, the cut asparagus, and the remaining Muenster cheese over the bread squares in the dish. Top with the remaining bread squares.

Step 3...In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the 1-1/2 cups low-fat milk, 3 large eggs,  2 large egg whites, 1 teaspoon dill weed,  1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour over layers in the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Step 4...Preheat the your oven to 325 degrees. Uncover the asparagus-cheese strata and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 main dish servings.

1 serving = 270 calories, 14 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 455 mg sodium and 136 mg cholesterol.