This is a most versatile and delicious breakfast, brunch, or lunch dish! Make it with Ham & Cheddar, or, if you're not a fan of ham, make it with Smoked Salmon & a Swiss-style cheese. Make it the night before and bake before your guests arrive for easy entertaining. You'll impress with this dish, and it couldn't be easier!
1 1/2 Pounds Asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
3 Tablespoons Butter, softened
16 Ounces Sliced Bread,(a firm sourdough or sturdy white loaf) crusts removed
3/4 Cup Shredded Cheddar (for ham strata) OR Swiss-style Cheese (Emmenthal, Gruyere, Grand Cru) for Salmon strata, divided
2 Cups Fully Cooked Cubed Ham, OR 8 ounces sliced Smoked Salmon
6 large Eggs
3 Cups Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons minced green onions
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh dill (omit if using ham!)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Cook asparagus until just tender. Drain.
Lightly butter bread slices. Place half of slices in a greased 13X9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Layer with asparagus and ham. Cover with remaining bread, buttered side up. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Add the onion and dill (if using) and pulse to combine; pour over bread. Press gently to help bread soak up milk. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes. (Strata can be refrigerated at this point and baked up to 8 hours later.)
Bakes, uncovered at 325-degrees for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers. Keeps about 3 days in the refrigerator.