2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound thin asparagus cut in thirds
2¾ cups whole milk
Salt and pepper
8 cups (1 loaf) French or Italian bread, cubed
1½ cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Caramelize: Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just golden, 10 minutes. Add onions and cook until they also turn golden, 10 minutes. Add asparagus and cook bright green, 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Layer: Rub remaining 1 tablespoon butter into a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Scatter with one-third the bread cubes. Top with one-third of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with one third of each cheese. Repeat layering twice.
3. Douse: Whisk together eggs and milk. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Pour evenly over the strata. Let rest 20 minutes.
4. Bake: Slide pan into a 350-degree oven and bake, uncovered, until dramatically puffed and golden, 45 minutes. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Slice into squares.
Janice Lord’s Recipe