This egg and cheese strata, made with eggs, Fontina, asparagus, and prosciutto, can be put together ahead of time or last minute. A great breakfast or simple dinner.
This is not your mom’s overnight breakfast sausage. No Jimmy Dean’s sausage. No lurid packaged shreds of processed cheese. No tube of crescent rolls on the side. Just simple ingredients and the uncomplicated but undeniable loveliness that results. Originally published March 26, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Make This Dish More Practical And Just A Little Less Pretty
In making this strata look elegant, the lovely and talented Sarah Copeland, author of this recipe, chose to leave her asparagus spears long. While this does indeed make for a pretty presentation, it also creates something of a not-so-practical eating experience as you attempt to politely cut through an asparagus spear that’s irrevocably intertwined with strands of melted cheese using nothing but a fork. Usually not something we’d like to inflict on our loved ones. While we leave this decision to your discretion. But we’re thinking that slicing the spears into 1 1/2-inch lengths isn’t such a terrible sacrifice.
Egg and Cheese Strata
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H
- Serves 2 to 4
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
How To Double This Strata For A Crowd
- You can easily double this recipe for a crowd and bake it instead in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish for 1 hour. Then watch it disappear.
Recipe Testers Reviews
I love making this type of breakfast meal where I can get it ready at night and in less than 30 minutes, it's ready for my daughters to eat in the morning prior to going to school.
I did not have mortadella, but I had smoked turkey slices which I used. Loved how the asparagus was nice and crunchy, yet the rest was moist and tasty.
So little work for such great taste! The ingredients are so straightforward and the assembly is so easy. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light supper.
The two things that place this strata above others are the use of very good artisan bread and the Fontina cheese. You can easily substitute other cheeses and it would still be wonderful, but the Fontina is so creamy and has such good flavor that I would make sure to use it. And you could use artichokes or other veggies, but the asparagus adds a brightness to the dish. If making it without meat, it would be good served with some thick bacon slices on the side for those who prefer meat. Next time, I will try it with prosciutto.
This was an excellent make-ahead recipe. I doubled it, let it rest in the fridge overnight, cooked it in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and it baked perfectly in just over an hour.
I used sourdough and omitted the asparagus. Will definitely make again as it’s a great way to use up leftovers.
This Egg and Cheese Strata is a very familiar recipe. As with others of its type, it’s assembles easily and cooks quickly. The asparagus stalks add a nice texture, extra flavor, and visual appeal to the mix. Rather than peeling the ends of them, I’d snap the ends off so they can fit in the pot before peeling (if peeling is necessary).
I like the mortadella option and used it in my casserole. If using prosciutto, you may want to julienne the slices as it can sometimes be a little tough to cut through.
The custard part was just lovely—rich but light. At first I thought there might be too much cheese (a phrase I can hardly believe I just wrote), but the Fontina did not overwhelm. I loved the nuttiness that comes from using whole-grain bread. Everything fit perfectly in a four-cup oval Le Creuset casserole dish.
I ground up the bread crusts in the food processor and sprinkled them on top about 5 minutes before the strata was done. I didn’t waste any good bread bits and got an extra crunch to boot. Next time–and there will be a next time–I might cut the asparagus into smaller bits to make serving and cutting on the plate a bit easier. As for the serving size, it’s a very generous 2-person amount in my opinion and feel it could serve 4 people for a lunch with that big salad on the side.
This is a delicious dish but quite rich. If I was to make the recipe again, I would probably reduce the amount of cheese and add a bit more asparagus or some other vegetable. It seems like 8 ounces of cheese for 2 people is rather a lot. I think that the recipe, as written, could easily feed 3 to 4 people.
I used some homemade artisan bread and only used about 2 slices so having the weight specified in the recipe was helpful.
It seems like preparing the dish the night before is just an option. I made the recipe and baked it the same evening. I didn't use the mortadella or prosciutto.