It’s ASPARAGUS TIME!! OK, when I say it like that it seems like we must have a ton of it, right? Well, we don’t. We have about eight spears total so far. Our bed has only been going a few years, so we still don’t expect much production from it.
So what can I do with just a few spears? I mean, I have to eat the ones that have come up, but two or three spears person just kind of fails as a side dish. So I decided on breakfast strata as a perfect solution.
This is my favorite type of recipe: use whatever you have on hand and throw it all together. One of the best things about strata is that you can easily throw it together the night before you need it, let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, and just toss it into the oven when you get out of bed. Then you just sit and drink your coffee while breakfast cooks. Luxury.
The key ingredients in strata are bread, milk and eggs. Beyond that, the sky is the limit. Even if you don’t have any veggies from the garden yet, a meat and cheese strata will still make everyone full and happy. Some people might even be happier if you leave out the asparagus…
By the way, I scaled this recipe down to make just enough for the 3 of us plus a little bit left over. Feel free to double this if you want to use a 9 x 13 pan.
If you are using sausage or anything else that needs to be cooked (bacon, anyone?), you will want to do that first and let it cool before you combine it with the eggs. Otherwise the eggs will be a little bit cooked wherever it touches hot bits and the whole thing will be kind of ruined and gross. With chunks in it.
Then go ahead and cut that bread into cubes. They don’t have to be the same size, and you don’t have to cut the crusts off. They will be egg-soaked and custardy just the same. Toss those bread cubes into a casserole dish.
Pour the eggs over the top, cover the dish and put it in the refrigerator to soak for at least 2 hours and up to 24. Incidentally, you can also do this prep work in the morning, let it sit in the refrigerator all day, and have breakfast for dinner instead.
Let the strata stand for 5-10 minutes so that it will be easier to slice and serve. Then throw a bowl of strawberries on the table (they’re also pretty good this time of year), and call the troops. Salt and pepper to taste and get ready to enjoy your day!
- 5 slices day old bread
- 6 ounces bulk breakfast sausage
- 8 spears asparagus, chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced
- 10-12 cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup swiss or cheddar or Colby cheese, grated
- 3 eggs
- 1¼ cups milk
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh, minced
- Brown breakfast sausage in skillet. Set aside until cooled.
- Cube bread and arrange in greased 1½ quart casserole dish. Top with cooled sausage, scallions and asparagus, and cheese. Arrange cherry tomatoes on top.
- Whisk eggs in mixing bowl. Whisk in milk and thyme.
- Pour egg mixture evenly over layered bread, vegetables, and cheese. Cover and chill for 2 – 24 hours.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.