Cauliflower-and-Gruyère Soufflé

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Claudine Pépin, daughter of chef Jacques Pépin, says her go-to dinner-party dish was inspired by her father’s famous soufflé. In her delicious adaptation, she enhances the recipe with pureed cauliflower. Slideshow:  Cauliflower Recipes 

Cauliflower-and-Gruyère Soufflé
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Yield:
6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 lightly packed cups)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

  • 6 large eggs

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the cauliflower until very tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. In a medium bowl, puree the cauliflower with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the cauliflower to a colander and let drain until cooled completely.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 6-cup soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, whisking, until thickened and no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with salt and pepper. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir the cauliflower puree into the béchamel, then fold in the cheese and chives. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, then gently fold them into the cauliflower béchamel. Scrape the soufflé base into the prepared dish and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until puffed and browned; serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Fluffy soufflés are fantastic with dry, frothy sparkling wines. Serve this one with a juicy cava, like the NV Castelroig Brut or the NV Avinyó Brut Reserva.

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