Asparagus Strata with Mediterranean Garnish
16 to 20 thin asparagus spears, trimmed
1 bag (16 oz) frozen country style potatoes, thawed
3 cups grated cheddar or jack cheese
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste
Zesty Mediterranean Garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place the potatoes in the bottom of a lightly buttered 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the grated cheese.
- Place the asparagus spears in a criss-cross pattern on top of the cheese. Combine the eggs with the milk, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour over the asparagus.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden and puffy. Serve with the Mediterranean garnish on the side.
For the Garnish: Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium high heat and cook the shallot and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and sauté until the asparagus is crisp tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.