Asparagus Strata with Sourdough

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Yield: about 12 servings

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This smooth, rich dish is ideal for a crowd at brunch — especially in springtime, when fresh asparagus is in season.

Asparagus Strata with Sourdough

star rating (14) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: about 12 servings
Published: 12/20/2011

Ingredients

  • 10 to 11 cups sourdough bread cubes (3/4" cubes)
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces frozen or 1 bunch fresh (15 to 20 medium stalks) asparagus, ends snapped off, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped; a scant 1 cup
  • ½ pound ham, diced
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup to 1 1/2 cups half & half (fat-free is fine)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Tips from our bakers

  • Half a loaf of our Alaskan Sourdough Bread Mix works well in this recipe.
  • Why is there such a variation in the amount of half & half? Because a lot depends on the size and shape of your casserole dish. Use enough so that the liquid comes to within about 1/2" to 3/4" of the top of the bread.

Directions

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1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, and grease a 2-quart casserole dish or 9" x 13" pan.

2) Toss the bread in a bowl with the melted butter, and spread evenly on the baking sheet. Heat the bread in the oven for 10 minutes; it won't color, but will dry out a bit.

3) If the asparagus are frozen, use them as is. If they're fresh, cook them very briefly; a couple of minutes in the microwave should be sufficient. You want them to be crisp, but not hard.

4) Toss the asparagus, onion, ham, and 1 ½ cups of the cheese with the toasted bread cubes. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

5) Mix together the eggs, 1/2 cup of the half & half, and salt, and pour over the bread mixture, pressing the bread gently into the liquid. Add up to an additional 1 cup half & half if it doesn't come to within 3/4" of the top of the bread cubes.

6) Cover the pan, and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

7) Sprinkle the top of the strata with the remaining cheese. Bake the strata uncovered, in a preheated 375°F oven, for about 45 minutes, or until it's puffed and golden. A knife blade inserted into the center will come out clean. Remove the strata from the oven, and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: about 12 servings.

Reviews

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  • star rating 04/06/2015
  • SnowflakeLady from KAF Community
  • I am so happy to have found this recipe awhile back, and now I make it for Christmas mornings- so easy to prep the night before and pop in the oven while we are opening gifts and sipping our first cup of coffee! It is the best strata recipe I have tried, and there have been many! SO flavorful, and you can mix up the veggies you throw in- we also like the orange, and other colors of peppers.I use a commercially available sourdough called California Goldminer, I buy the sliced loaf and use about 3/4 of that, cut in cubes. I do use more cream and a couple more eggs, to make it moist enough. Or just add more cream at the end to fill it up once it's all in the pan. You can't mess this up, really,we love it!
  • star rating 04/05/2015
  • GinPetty from KAF Community
  • Made this yesterday with homemade sourdough. Oh, my! Good! (An aside here.... I think you have a typo in the total time for the recipe, unless you're counting the time making the bread, which I don't think you are.)
    Hi there. Yes, the total recipe time is counted from beginning to end, including the making of doughs, batters, etc. plus resting and rising times, baking times, cooling times, etc.
  • star rating 12/28/2014
  • Sjohnson22 from KAF Community
  • Made this last night and had it for breakfast this morning! Really Delish!! I added 1 cup of diced zucchini as it just didn't look Like enough asparagus. I had to add the full amount of Half and half (my pan was deep) and baked for 1 hour next time I will add twice the ham (we barely noticed it). But very yummy and filling. Now, what to do with all These left overs!! I might try and freeze some.
  • star rating 12/29/2013
  • MelloHello from Washington, DC
  • I made this as a side dish on Christmas Eve and it really complimented the festive meal. I followed the recipe as written except that I cooked the onions a bit with the fresh asparagus. The dish was delicious and everyone loved it. I cut it up in squares and served it on a platter to make it easier to pass. Luckily there were a few squares left which my family was able to enjoy on Christmas morning! I will definitely make this again.
  • star rating 12/27/2013
  • Sophie from Idaho
  • I served this for Christmas brunch with some diced red pepper for extra holiday color. I also sauteed the onions and substituted bacon for ham. Very tasty and very easy to prepare!! But I think that the strata is served as a main course with a fruit or green salad, the 9 x 13 casserole serves 8 people.
  • star rating 12/27/2013
  • Barb from SW michigan
  • Extremely easy and a real treat in the middle of winter. I love asparagus but the frozen always turns gray and mushy, when I steam it. But not in this! Great way to get my asparagus fix in the middle of winter. I also used a combo of Swiss and cheddar as I love Swiss cheese with ham. A big hit and extremely easy to make.
  • 12/22/2013
  • Mary from SC
  • I have a question before I make this. 8 eggs?? My family does not like quiche. We just don't like eggs with stuff in it. So, is this quiche consistency or does the bread soak up the eggs, so that you don't notice them making it more like a bread pudding?
    Yes, the bread does soak up a lot of the custard. I would make a smaller portion and test it on your family before committing! Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 03/01/2013
  • Sarah from West Hartford, CT
  • I loved this recipe. I was planning to make it for Christmas brunch, so I did a trial first. I followed the directions and my only problem was that the strata still seemed a little "juicy" after I baked it for longer than the recommended time. I still thought it very tasty, even as leftovers! My fiance doesn't particularly care for asparagus, so for the Christmas version I made it with potatoes. I cut the potatoes into roughly 1/2 inch cubes, coated them in olive oil, then roasted them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. Two things I learned: (1) when the potatoes are refrigerated in the strata overnight, any pieces exposed to the air (on the top) get a little grey (2) the potatoes were not quite cooked enough when the strata was done. However, I still got rave reviews on the potato-version of the dish. In any case, this recipe was a wonderful introduction to strata for me! Thanks, KAF :)
  • star rating 05/15/2012
  • Peggy from ME
  • Loved this for a group of 14 people at a luncheon - men and women. I made two 9 x 13 pans and they ate up nearly half of the second. We love cheese so I added about 1/2 cup more to each pan, and next time I'd add more asparagus and a little less bread. But everyone thought it great - and it was so nice to have it made the day before and just have to bake it and add a salad!
  • star rating 05/12/2012
  • Julie from Horsham PA
  • LOVED this recipe..... But we made a few alterations. We browned the onions. It made for a sweeter strata. We also used lower fat milk and cheese. It was soooo good !
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