Light and fluffy, this is an excellent option for when you’ve had enough meat for the week. But even better as vegetarian protein option for a dinner party. Your vego friends will love you because it’s that good! It might sound bizarre as a dinner party option but a lot of it can be prepared ahead of time. Just before putting in the oven all that needs to be done is whisk the egg whites, fold them through the roux and bung it in the oven for 30 minutes. Timing is important though; you don’t want the soufflé sitting around out of the oven before serving so make sure you know when all your other delights will be ready.
The WOW factor occurs when you whip that soufflé out of the oven and take it straight to the table. Some of Dad’s oldest friends wax lyrical, 30 years after the event, when he pulled individual chocolate soufflés out of the oven on the dot of midnight at a New Years Eve dinner party. I’d be a rich woman if I had a buck for every time I heard that story…
This soufflé feeds 4 for dinner with other veggie accompaniments. I prefer to serve it with roast potatoes and a spinach & almond salad. Something crunchy next the soft soufflé makes a great textural combo. This recipe was adapted from The Food of France.
1 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
350g zucchini, 1cm slices
30g plain flour
85g gruyere, finely grated
3 spring onions, finely chopped
4 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 180C. Brush a 1.5 L soufflé dish with melted butter. Tip in the breadcrumbs to coat the dish. Tip out the excess crumbs. This will make sure the soufflé doesn’t stick to the dish, but will also help it rise.
Cook the zucchini in boiling water for 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain and when cooled slightly push some water out of the zucchini. Whizz in a food processor with the milk until smooth. If you do not have a food processor, or can’t be bothered with the washing up, use a potato masher to blend the zucchini and milk until smooth.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and milk mixture and continue to stir until thick and smooth. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the gruyere and spring onions. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring each until well combined. Everything up until now can be prepared ahead of time. If finishing it off later cover with cling film so that the cling film sits over the mixture. This will ensure a skin doesn’t form.
Whisk egg whites until soft peaks. Stir a ¼ through the roux (zucchini mixture) to lighten it up. Fold through the remaining egg whites and delicately poor into the prepared dish (if too heavy handed all the airiness of the egg whites will be knocked about). Bake for 30 minutes. The soufflé is cooked when it wobbles very slightly when wiggled. As it hits the table it will cook a little further, making it perfectly cooked by the time it’s served.
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- Brioche buns