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Nourish Asparagus and Leek Strata
1 Tbsp. butter 5 c. sliced asparagus in 1″ pieces (about 1 1/2 pounds) 2 c. thinly sliced leeks – whites and light green parts (about 3 small) 1/2 c. water 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 2 tsp. grated lemon rind 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided 12 (1-ounce) thin slices dense whole wheat bread 1 c. (4 oz.) shredded fontina cheese, divided 2 1/2 c. skim or 1% lowfat milk 3 large eggs 1 large egg white 1 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices, diced) cooking spray
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add asparagus, leeks, and water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, lemon rind, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Arrange half of bread slices in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top bread slices with half of asparagus mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat procedure with the remaining bread, asparagus mixture, and 1/2 cup cheese.
Combine 1/8 teaspoon pepper, milk, eggs, and egg white, and stir with a whisk until well-blended. Pour the milk mixture over strata. Cover strata, and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°. Uncover strata; sprinkle with fresh breadcrumbs. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until set.