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Asparagus Strata with Sourdough

Author: Charlotte Bothe

Asparagus Strata with Sourdough Recipe Asparagus Strata with Sourdough Recipe

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

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directions on our blog

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
about 12 servings

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

  • 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

Instructions

  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.
  8. Yield: about 12 servings.