BROCCOLI SOUFFLE

Some recipes can be intimidating, and soufflé is definitely part of the group. But honestly, it is very easy and flexible, in the sense that you can add pretty much anything you want to the basic formula. Plus, even if it does not rise as high as you would like, it’s always delicious. I guess the only way to really ruin a souffle is baking it to the point it dries out, but to get there the surface would be so dark, it would act as a warning sign. Of course, I suppose one could forget it in the oven. But, I digress. This version is a variation of my default recipe from Julia Child, a recipe that never let me down. Broccoli makes the egg mixture slightly more dense, so it won’t rise as much as a souffle prepared exclusively with cheese. But I will share a couple of tricks to maximize lift under the circumstances. Read on.

BROCCOLI SOUFFLE
(adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

6-cup mold, buttered and sprinkled with grated Parmigiano cheese

Parmigiano cheese for mold (about 2 T)

3T butter
3T flour
1 cup hot milk
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites + pinch salt
3/4 cup broccoli florets
1/4 to 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Before you start, cook the broccoli florets. Place in a microwave-safe dish, season lightly with salt, and sprinkle some water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Immediately remove from the dish and lay on a plate to cool. Cut in pieces that are no more than 3/4 inch big. Reserve.

Melt the butter, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, don’t allow it to brown.  Remove from the heat, and when the butter stops furiously boiling, add the milk all at once. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for a couple of minutes more. The sauce will thicken considerably. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Remove from heat, allow it to cool for 5 minutes or so,  and add the egg yolks, one by one, mixing very well after each addition. This sauce can be prepared to this point and refrigerated; bring it to lukewarm before continuing. If you decide not to refrigerate it, then dot it with butter, cover it with a plastic wrap and go work on the egg whites.

Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form – depending on your mixer or the strength of your biceps it will take 2 to 5 minutes. Add 1/3 of this mixture to the sauce, to thin it slightly – add the cheese and mix well.

Now, add the remaining egg whites and fold into the sauce. You don’t need to mix it until it is all incorporated and totally homogeneous, because the “lift” of your souffle’ depends on the air present in the beaten egg whites. When it’s almost fully folded, add the broccoli florets and fold a few times, very gently.

Fill the souffle’ mold to 3/4 of its volume, place it in a 400F oven, reducing the temperature immediately to 375F. Cook the souffle’ for 30 minutes – do not open the oven door during the first 20 minutes. If you like it moist inside, serve after 30 minutes. I prefer to cook for 5 additional minutes, then the texture inside is perfect, not too dry, not too creamy.

Serve right away, souffle waits for no one!

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The best way to maximize lift when using a heavy vegetable such as broccoli, is to cut it in smallish pieces and add them to the base when you are almost ready to pour it into the baking dish. Some recipes will ask you to process the veggies, but I much prefer slightly larger pieces. For that very reason, blanching, steaming (or cheating and using the microwave) is also recommended. I’ve made the exact same recipe using raw broccoli and prefer it this way.

Here’s free advice for my readers: if you are the partner or family member of a food blogger, get out-of-the-way once the souffle is served. Yes, you will be eating it soon, but picture obviously trumps appetite. Obviously.

 

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30 thoughts on “BROCCOLI SOUFFLE

  1. This looks superb ! The only thing is … I just don’t understand non-metric measurements. 3T = …. 30 grams? One cup milk = 250ml? Is what I am guessing. If ever you should find the time (we’re all so busy, I know!), I would be so grateful if you could include the metric measurements. Thanks. And please don’t worry if you can’t … I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the worst sugar cookie recipe I’ve ever seen in my life.

    Having said that, this is an excellent souffle recipe and I love your insightful comments at the end. I think souffle is a dish more people should attempt as it is far easier than its reputation suggests. It’s also a great way to use up small amounts of leftover ingredients. And it impresses the impressionable! What more could one ask of a dish?

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haven’t made a vegetable soufflé awhile and I love broccoli – so thank you for the nudge! Never use a microwave, and, besides the ‘nuking’ issue love the exactness I can get when I steam vegetables – quite my favourite method. Am smiling at Conor’s comment . . . I always make sure my tableful of friends are sitting there waiting for their dish to avoid that ‘deflating’ experience . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve only made soufflé once (and it actually worked which was at least half the joy) but never a broccoli soufflé. I just love this idea – something different from the usual and it brings a festive flair – definitely passes as a veg side too 🙂 might just have to incorporate it into the Christmas menu this year. Your golden top looks amazing (une belle réussite) and, yes, Family Hold Back is the term we use here – haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Family Hold Back! Oh, that is great! I do think broccoli is a great twist for the souffle – no doubt a traditional cheese version is nice, but to be completely honest, it is a bit too “homogeneous” for my taste – I like to have some bits of other flavors in the mix

      Like

    • It is really very easy and all things considered, not too time-consuming – I sometimes make the base (bechamel, cheese) and save in the fridge. Then I warm up, add the whatevers and beat the egg whites – works great and cuts a bit of the prep time at dinner

      Liked by 1 person

  5. P.S. This looks amazing. It’s been so long since I’ve made one (I used to make spinach souffle all of the time, but I’d make individual servings due to lack of confidence. I have a gorgeous large souffle dish that I’ve owned for 40 years that I’ve never actually made a souffle in. Sheepish grin.

    Liked by 1 person

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