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Ham, Asparagus and Cheese Strata

1 cup (4 ounces) cooked lean ham, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 red bell pepper, chopped

8 ounces asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces

11/2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

6 ounces sliced French bread (1/2-inch slices)

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

6 large eggs

2 cups skim milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch baking dish or pie plate with cooking spray.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high; add the ham, onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes until ham is slightly browned. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet and lower heat to medium. Add the asparagus and cook 3 minutes, until onions are softened and asparagus is bright green.

Spread the mustard on the bread and layer slices in the prepared baking dish. Top with the ham and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and pour the mixture into the baking dish. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours (wrapped and refrigerated).

Bake 45 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.

Makes 4 servings.