- 2 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 lb asparagus, ends snapped off
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 1/2 oz mixed dried mushrooms (I use a "forest blend")
- 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced; white and green parts separated
- 9 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups half/half
- 1 large loaf (about 1 lb rustic white bread), cut into 1" cubes**
- 3 cups created extra sharp Cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)
** We make fresh breads every night for the dinners we make at the inn. So I like to use up the unused bread, for example when I last made this Strata I used a bit of a baguette, 2 onion marmalade rolls, and a bunch of buttermilk bread. The variety makes it interesting!
Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the dried mushrooms. Remove from heat and let soak for about 15 minutes. Then drain and chop.
Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spears start to brown and soften, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes.
Butter a 9"x13" baking dish. Whisk the eggs with the half/half and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Spread half the bread in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half the eggs mixture and then cover with half the cheese, asparagus mixture, and sprinkle with half the scallion greens. Repeat with the remaining bread, custard, cheese, asparagus mixture, and scallions. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down so the bread is completely submerged in the egg mixture, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days before baking.
Put a rack in the center of the oven and heat the over to 350°F. Let the strata sit at room temperature while the oven heats. Bake until the custard sets and the top browns, about 30 minutes. Loosely cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, cut into square pieces, and serve.