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 Asparagus Strata

     Makes 6 servings
     Prep Time: 1 hour
     Total Time: 2 ½ hours
     Ease of Preparation: Moderate

 Ingredients
   1 slices dense multigrain bread
   2 eggs large eggs
   1 cup egg substitute
   1/4 cup low-fat milk
   1/4 cup dry white wine or low-fat milk
   2 teaspoons dry mustard
   1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
   1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
   1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or use cooking spray)
   1 1/2 cups halved and very thinly sliced sweet onions (about 3 medium onions)
   1 cup thinly sliced leek(s), white part only
   2 cloves garlic, minced
   1 bunch thin asparagus (about 3/4 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
   1/4 cup chopped scallions or fresh chives
   1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
   2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
   2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
   2 tablespoons lemon zest (optional)

 Preparation
1. Cut bread into 1/4-inch cubes. Whisk eggs and egg substitute in a large bowl. Whisk in milk, wine (or another 1/4 cup milk), dry mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in the bread. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables. (See tip)

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, leek and garlic; stirring for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking very gently, stirring occasionally, until the onions have a little color, 15 - 20 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, steam asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool; pat dry.

4. Coat a 8 X 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

5. When the onions are done, stir in scallions (or chives) and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the asparagus over the onion mixture. (See tip)

6. If the egg mixture and vegetables were refrigerated overnight, remove from the refrigerator, uncover and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

7. Preheat oven to 350°F.

8. Stir 1/4 cup cheese, parsley, mint and lemon zest (if using) into the egg mixture until well combined, then pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top.

9. Bake the strata just until firm to the touch in the middle and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 160°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Tips & Tricks
Tip: Prepare egg mixture (through Step 1) and vegetables (Steps 2-5) and refrigerate separately for up to 1 day; remove from the refrigerator about 1 hour before baking (2 hours before serving).

Nutritional Notes: per serving: calories 155; fat 6g (sat 2g, mono 2.3g, poly 0.5g); iron 2mg; cholesterol 78mg; calcium 155mg; carbohydrate 14g; sodium 237mg; protein 10.6g; fiber 3g

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A: 20% daily value; Vitamin C: 25% dv; Calcium: 15% dv; Iron: 10% dv