Asparagus, Leek, and Goat Cheese Strata
Source: Adam Timney, Starbelly
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on March 29, 2014.
This is a great springtime dish using all local ingredients. Think of this recipe as a general guideline; you can modify it by varying the cheese selection or omitting cheese altogether, changing the milk-to-cream ratio, or by adding ingredients such as diced ham or crab.
Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, tender white parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
10 large eggs
1½ cups whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups diced Italian-style batard or French-style white bread (about ½ pound), crusts removed if desired
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1½-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 cup grated Achadinha Cheese Company Capricious cheese (or parmesan or Grana Padano)
1 cup crumbled fresh chevre-style goat cheese
1. In a medium sauté pan over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the leeks until they’re completely soft. Set them aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, salt and pepper, making sure to break up the egg whites and yolks well. Fold in the bread, asparagus, sautéed leeks and grated cheese, mixing to the consistency you prefer. If you like a smoother texture, mix until the bread is completely broken down. If you like a little more texture, mix it gently. Add the crumbled goat cheese and mix just enough to distribute it evenly.
3. Place the mixture in a large, shallow earthenware or glass baking dish. Let it rest for at least ½ hour at room temperature or up to 8 hours refrigerated. If you refrigerate the uncooked strata, remove it from the refrigerator one hour before baking.
4. Bake the strata at 325ºF for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Make sure not to insert the toothpick into a pocket of goat cheese, since it will come out looking wet even if the strata is completely cooked. Serve hot or warm.
Photo by Carleen Sikora.