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Asparagus Strata

1 tablespoon butter
5 cups sliced asparagus — (1-inch)
2 cups thinly sliced leeks
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh or
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper — divided
12 thin slices firm white sandwich bread
non-stick cooking spray
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese — divided
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large eggs
1 large egg white
1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs — (about 3 slices)

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 8-10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally ( Add a little more water if needed, drain if there is remaining water) Stir in parsley, tarragon, 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 400F degrees. Uncover strata; sprinkle with bread-crumbs. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes or until set. Allow the strata to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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