Caramelized onion and asparagus strata

Make-ahead cheesy casserole, this caramelized onion and asparagus strata is a crowd pleaser. It takes very little time to put together and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand
Make-ahead cheesy casserole, this caramelized onion and asparagus strata is a crowd pleaser. It takes very little time to put together and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand

Finally the spring has arrived! Although we still get some rain showers, I’m so happy to see flowers blooming in my front yard! I’m also happy the local farmers market is opened. You know what that means, right? Locally grown fresh vegetables and fruit.

Now of course, you can get almost all kinds of vegetables and fruit year round, either grown in California, or imported from South America but I love eating most of them when there are in season. Green peas and asparagus just taste better in spring, don’t you think?

Of course, while trying to get ready for the farmer’s makers, making breakfast is the last thing on my mind. Or, better said, was the last thing on my mind. With this easy onion and asparagus strata breakfast is back on the menu!Make-ahead cheesy casserole, this caramelized onion and asparagus strata is a crowd pleaser. It takes very little time to put together and you most likely have all the ingredients on handStrata is an egg, cheese and bread based casserole. And just like other casseroles, you can add lots of fixings to it. Today’s strata is made using caramelized onions, fresh asparagus and ham.

Although it requires a little bit of chopping, dicing and stirring, you can make everything the night before.

Start by caramelizing the onions in just a little bit of butter or olive oil. I love the sweetness it bring to this strata. While the onions are cooking, blanch the asparagus. Just like other bring green veggies, you have to keep a close eye on the asparagus. It’s a very thing line between blanched asparagus and over-cooked asparagus.

The bread is later cubed, the cheese is grated and the eggs and whisked with the heavy cream, half and half or milk.

You can make this strata for Easter brunch also, or since it need cooked ham, make it the day after with any leftover ham from the Easter dinner.

Caramelized onion and asparagus strata recipe

Now, the runny eggs on top are optional. It gives the strata a fancy look and leave others wondering how you did it. It’s very easy, actually. Once the strata is almost cooked, make few little holes with the back of a spoon on top of the casserole and break the eggs. Pop the dish back into the oven until the eggs are runny, medium or well done, depending on how you like them.

Optional, chop some chives over the casserole for a pop of green color just before serving.

The instructions are a little lengthy so read them carefully, but don’t worry. It’s really easy to make this caramelized onion and asparagus strata.

strataCaramelized onion and asparagus strata

Caramelized onion and asparagus strata recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 12 servings

Caramelized onion and asparagus strata recipe

Make-ahead cheesy casserole, this caramelized onion and asparagus strata is a crowd pleaser. It takes very little time to put together and you most likely have all the ingredients on hand

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 12 oz fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 Pillsbury® Crusty French Loaf, baked according to the can instructions (better is it is a day old)
  • 8 oz cooked ham, diced
  • 2 cups Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • dried parsley & thyme or whatever herbs you prefer.
  • 4 eggs, optional

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions.
  2. In a large skillet add butter or olive oil and cook over medium-high heat until hot.
  3. Add the sliced onions and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  4. To blanch the blanch the asparagus, add 6 cups of water to a sauce pan or large skillet. Cook over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  5. When the water has reach the boiling point, immerse the asparagus pieces into the pot and cover. Cook for 3 minutes! Remove the pot from the heat, drain the water and place the asparagus pieces in a bowl filled with icy-cold water. Leave for 2 minutes in the cold water before removing and placing them on a plate to cool completely.
  6. Cut the loaf of bread into 1/2 inch cubes.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the caramelized onions, asparagus pieces, bread cubes, shredded cheese and ham pieces. Place the mixture into a buttered casserole.
  8. In a mixing bowl add the eggs, heavy cream and milk and beat them lightly with salt, pepper and dried herbs.
  9. Pour the egg mixture over the casserole.
  10. Cover the casserole with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the fridge or for at least 2-3 hours.
  11. Heat the oven to 325F.
  12. Bake the casserole for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  13. If you'd like to cook additional eggs on top of the casserole, remove the dish from the oven and with the back of a spoon make 4 small holes. Break one egg into each hole and return to the oven. Bake for further 10-20 minutes depending on how you like your eggs.
  14. Serve warm.
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Happy baking,

Roxana

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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....

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Comments

  1. says

    That is such a beautiful dish, perfect for Spring! I am so glad the weather has finally turned warm and that the flowers are blooming again!!

  2. says

    Living in California has made me unaware of when certain foods are “in season” but I do love going to Farmers Markets to get extra fresh delicious ingredients. I would probably go back for 4ths if I had this dish for breakfast- looks gorgeous especially all that cheese!!

  3. says

    Oh my Roxana this looks amazing delicious. Those sunny side up eggs are perfect. I have yet to make one without either breaking the yolk or overcooking the darn thing. I would totally eat this up in a heartbeat. Perfect for brunch too!

  4. says

    Just curious about how you get the onions to caramelize in under 10 minutes. Is there a secret method I’m missing out on?! Love the addition of ham and asparagus with extra runny eggs on top here!

    • says

      Hi Tara,
      There’s no secret. I think it depends on the pan size you’re using. If the onions have enough room and don’t seem like cluttered in the pan they will cook faster. Plus, in this recipe you cook the onions just until they are very soft and begin to turn brown. I doubt they need more than 10 minutes.

  5. says

    Beautiful! I love strata’s but have never made any for my husband and kiddo. They tend to get picky about their breakfasts. Since they will trying almost anything once, I’m hoping this is something they’ll want to try!

  6. says

    I love casseroles with baked eggs, especially when those eggs are runny eggs. This breakfast is perfect, Roxana! Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays. Pinned and sharing on G+. Have a great weekend!

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