Ham and Asparagus Strata
Ham and Asparagus Strata

Ham and Asparagus Layers! Breakfast casserole with farmer’s bread, egg, Gruyere cheese, milk, cream, ham and asparagus

You know those times when you do something so good you can’t wait for an excuse to do it again? This is one of those times. Wow. Perfect for a springtime family reunion, like Easter brunch, Mother’s Day, or graduation.

It feeds a crowd. You can easily advance. Leftovers (if you have them, which I seriously doubt) will warm up beautifully for days.

Layers of ham and asparagus

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
80 minutes

total time
100 minutes

up to 8 servings


  • 1 loaf rustic Italian french breadcut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, about 8 cups of bread cubes total

  • 4 big eggs

  • 1 3/4 cups milk

  • 1 1/4 cups cream

  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or thyme)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • Kosher salt (for blanching water)

  • 1 lb asparagus spearswoody ends removed, spears cut into 3/4 inch pieces

  • 1 Middle bowl ice water

  • 2 tablespoon softened butter (to butter the dish)

  • 6 ounces hamcut into 1/4-inch cubes, about 2 cups

  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheesegrated, about 1 cup, packaged


  1. Preheat the oven:

    Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Lightly toast the diced bread:

    Spread the diced bread in a single layer on a baking dish or sheet pan. Place in the oven and bake until lightly toasted, about 7 to 8 minutes. Take out and set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.

  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream and spices:

    In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, cream, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Put aside.

  4. Blanch asparagus:

    Bring 2 liters of salted water to a boil (1 1/2 teaspoons salt). Put the cut asparagus in the boiling water. Bring to the boil again and blanch the asparagus for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the asparagus in a bowl of ice water to shock the asparagus and stop it from cooking. Drain and set aside.

  5. Layer the casserole:

    Spread butter on the inside of an 8 x 11 x 2 1/4 inch baking dish. Spread half of the bread cubes on the bottom of the casserole dish.

    Scatter half of the diced ham over the bread. Sprinkle half of the asparagus over the ham.

    Sprinkle everything with half of the Gruyere cheese.

    Pour half of the milk and egg mixture over it.

  6. Repeat the level:

    Add another layer of diced bread, ham, asparagus, Gruyere and milk and egg mixture. Press down on the mixture with your (clean) hands to allow the bread to soak up more of the milk mixture.

    At this point you can make up to a day ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

  7. Bake:

    Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven at 350°F for 40 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake uncovered for another 20 to 30 minutes until egg mixture is set. Test by sticking a sharp knife in the center of the casserole. If the inside is still runny, it’s undercooked and needs more time in the oven. If the top gets too brown, you can cover it again with aluminum foil.

    Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

nutritional information (per serving)
496 calories
28g Fat
37g carbohydrates
26g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!