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Spring Strata

(recipe, Ashley Griffin Gartland)


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Introduction

Chef Jason Barwikowski (Olympic Provisions, Portland) shifts the ingredients in his satisfying strata with the seasons. In winter, he turns to a foolproof flavor combination of bacon, mushrooms, and potatoes; come spring, he'll swap in asparagus or English peas for a lighter touch. Though he often uses Taleggio cheese in his strata, I've substituted local goat cheese here.

Ingredients

  1. 4 fingerling potatoes
  2. 6 strips thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  3. ½ lb. asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  4. 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  5. 5 eggs
  6. 2 cups heavy cream
  7. 2 Tbsp. finely grated Parmesan cheese
  8. 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  9. 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  10. 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  11. ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  12. 3 cups cubed French bread, crust removed
  13. 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  14. 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  15. Cooking spray

Steps

  1. Place the potatoes in a small saucepan, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and cut them into ¼-inch slices.
  2. Cook the bacon over medium-low heat in a large cast-iron skillet, stirring occasionally, until the bacon begins to crisp, about 5 minutes. If necessary, drain the fat from the skillet, leaving about a teaspoon to coat the pan. Add the asparagus and garlic to the skillet and cook with the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant and the asparagus is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat to cool.
  3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Whisk the eggs, cream, Parmesan, mustard, olive oil, thyme, and red pepper flakes together in a large bowl. Fold in the potatoes, cooled bacon-asparagus mixture, bread, scallions, and goat cheese with a rubber spatula until well combined.
  5. Coat a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray. Pour the strata mixture into the pan and bake until the eggs are set and the crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil the strata until browned on top. Let cool slightly, then slice into wedges and serve immediately.