Happy Monday After Daylight Savings Time! This will be a hard week for many, getting used to the time change. I love it once the adjustment takes place because I LOVE that it stays light outside till nearly 8:30 in the spring and nearly 10 in the summer. We get to play later (it seems) and it’s important to not feel so closed in after months of the cold, dark evenings of winter.
I’ve been in a new, happy rut, lately. On most Mondays lately, I’ve been making a vegetable souffle. I hardly ever have my act together for dinner on Monday and I usually haven’t been to the store for the week (like today), but I nearly always have some sort of leftover veg in the fridge and (usually) four eggs. Voila – this beautiful souffle, big enough for all of us to eat more than a big portion. I’d say it would serve 4 as a side dish or 2.5 (like us) as a main. And it’s so versatile!
The pics above were made with Brussels sprouts and cheddar and the pics below were spinach and gruyere. I’ve done leftover broccoli with white cheddar, leek, and asparagus, too! If you have eggs, cheese and some leftover vegetables, you have a meal! And a really good one. Every time I have made this, Olive has said, “this is a good meal, Mama.” Good enough for me! It’s a wonderful vehicle for getting more vegetables into your little people, as well.
Savory Vegetable Souffles
1/3 cup grated parmesan or fine bread crumbs
2 cups cooked vegetables, finely chopped. Use boiled brussels sprouts, spinach, leeks, asparagus, kale, whatever floats your boat!
5 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
4 eggs, room temp and separated
1/2 cup grated hard cheese – cheddar, gruyere, gouda, romano, parm, etc
Heat the oven to 375F. Butter a 6-cup souffle dish or 6 one cup ramekins, if you want everyone to have a nice, neat side dish of their very own. Coat the sides of the dish with cheese or breadcrumbs. Cook your vegetable in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat, stir in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce has thickened, whisking the entire time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a splash more milk if it gets too thick (you want a thick gravy consistency). Set aside off the heat. Into your egg yolks, whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream sauce to warm them and then return them to the rest of the sauce and whisk to incorporate. Stir in the cheese and when it’s melted, fold in the vegetables.
With a mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir a quarter of them into the souffle base and then fold in the remainder until no white streaks show. Bake souffles on a rimmed baking sheet in the middle of the oven until risen and golden, 30-35 minutes. The middle will be slightly wobbly if you’ve made it in one large dish. Serve immediately!
*recipe adapted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook, which is completely fantastic so far. Hasn’t steered us wrong, yet!