Last weekend I celebrated the opening day of the summer market as well as Mother’s Day by using my first asparagus purchase of the season to make a strata that was worthy of any holiday. I adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart for Christmas Morning Breakfast Bake and with a couple of tweaks turned it into my Mother’s Day strata.

Asparagus and Ham Mother’s Day Breakfast Strata

adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces Canadian bacon or lean ham, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, steamed & chopped
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 9 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 6 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 ½ cups)


  1. Butter a 3-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add bacon, onion, and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Gradually add spinach to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Scatter half the bread in dish and top with half the spinach mixture and half the cheese. Top with remaining bread, spinach mixture, and cheese. Pour egg mixture into dish and gently press bread to submerge. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to overnight).
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover dish and bake until bread is golden brown and custard is just set, 45 to 50 minutes (cover with foil if browning too quickly). Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Note: This dish can be prepared the night before and baked the next morning.

I love stratas because they are so versatile. You could easily make this vegetarian by substituting mushrooms (maybe shiitake bacon) for the ham in this dish. In fact, you could also use spinach (as in the original recipe) instead of the asparagus, bacon or sausage instead of ham, and any type of cheese you like. Stratas are a great way to use leftovers including stale bread.

Check out more awesome asparagus recipes in the recipe archive on our website.

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