Country Ham Breakfast Strata


Chef Kevin Gillespie has become an expert of no-waste cooking. At his restaurant Revival in Decatur, Georgia, they use the leftover scraps from their house-smoked ham in stewed collard greens, fat back soup and the breakfast casserole they serve at brunch. This pillowy, satisfying strata is a great make-ahead brunch dish—serve it with a crisp green salad on the side.

Country Ham Breakfast Strata
Photo: © Abby Hocking
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 40 mins
8 to 10


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing

  • 10 ounce sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces (8 cups)

  • 12 large eggs

  • 3 cups half-and-half

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 pound leftover ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 cups chopped collard green leaves

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 small red pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces), plus more for serving

  • 5 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° and lightly butter a 3-quart baking dish. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the bread in a single layer and bake until crisp but not browned, about 10 minutes. Let the bread cool at room temperature.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the half-and-half, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Carefully fold in the toasted bread.

  3. In a medium skillet, melt the 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the ham and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the collard greens, onion, red pepper and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool slightly. Scrape the ham and cooked vegetables into the large bowl with the soaked bread. Fold in the grated cheese and sliced scallions. Transfer the custard to the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the strata from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the strata springs back lightly when touched and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead

The strata can be prepared though Step 3 and refrigerated overnight.

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