I know, I know. You read the title of cheese souffle and herb salad and tried to run screaming from the blog, didn’t you? Stop. Come back.
This was my lunch today. Lunch, because yes, it is actually that easy – and fast – to make a cheese souffle. Granted, I do feel sorta decadent because it’s a souffle and they’re fancy and all.
Except that this takes just a handful of ingredients, all of which are in my house on a regular basis. And the salad is one of the fastest I can make. Because hey, I need to pretend like I’m eating healthfully when it’s an egg and cheese lunch, right? Salad does that for me.
I had to make it today because it’s 80 degrees. We went from way too cold and spring isn’t coming in Chicago to full on summer. Very shortly, my oven will go off until fall. And oh did I have a taste for this cheese souffle today for some reason. In fact, I’m about to go back for seconds. Shhh, don’t tell anyone!
How to Make Cheese Souffle and Herb Salad
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Finely grate your cheese. I actually generally use Gruyere for the cheese souffle and then some Parmesan for the souffle dish. Just wait – you’ll see why.
Butter a large souffle dish. Well. Use real butter. I promise, it’s worth it. You want to coat the butter in either grated cheese or bread crumbs. Hmmm cheese or bread. It’s a toss up sometimes which is my favorite, but definitely go with the grated cheese if you can. Simply place some in the souffle pan and rotate it until it’s coated in cheese. Gently pat some in place, if needed. Place the souffle dish in the fridge so that it stays cold until baked, which will help create a crust around the souffle so that it doesn’t stick to the souffle dish after baking.
Place the egg yolks in one bowl, and the egg whites in another. Make sure the egg white bowl has no yellow in it at all, then add the salt.
Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook for a minute or so, stirring regularly. Pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer until it’s thick. Because there is so much flour relatively, this will only take a minute or two.
Remove from the heat, and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Stir, and then add the cheese, again stirring until well combined. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring to combine thoroughly before adding the next one.
Beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. These are medium peaks, and yes, I beat them by hand. I wasn’t thinking when I put the egg whites in the bowl and didn’t feel like dirtying another one. Besides, it counts as my gym workout for the day, right? When beating your eggs, make sure you don’t overbeat them, or they’ll get grainy and icky.
Fold in the egg whites one-third at a time. You have to sacrifice the fluffiness of the first third of the egg whites to get the cheese/egg yolk mixture to accept the egg whites. It’s ok. Just make sure you fold in the rest of the eggs gently.
Pour the mixture into your prepared souffle dish. Cut a circle in the cheese souffle to help keep it from cracking and falling. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it’s risen and golden brown on top. You don’t have to be careful walking in the kitchen while baking it – contrary to myth – but don’t open the oven door!
Serve the cheese souffle warm with the herb salad: Emulsify lemon juice and olive oil – maybe a 1:2 ratio, I never measure. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your spring mix with added chopped dill frond and chopped parsley.
I’ve almost finished my second helping of the cheese souffle now, and I can’t wait to have leftovers for dinner. Too bad no one’s close enough to come share, as this is a perfect light, fun lunch (or dinner).
Have you ever made a cheese souffle? What’s your secret “hard” dish that’s actually easy?
For the cheese souffle
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 t salt
- 2 T butter (plus more for the souffle dish)
- 1/4 c flour
- 1 c milk - room temp if you remember
- 1/2 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t pepper
- 3/4 c Emmenthaler or Gruyere cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Finely grate cheese.
- Butter a large souffle dish. Coat butter in either grated cheese or bread crumbs. Place souffle dish in the fridge so that it stays cold until baked.
- Place egg yolks in one bowl, and egg whites in another. Add salt to yolks.
- Heat butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook for a minute, stirring regularly. Pour in milk while whisking, and simmer until thick.
- Remove from heat, and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Stir, and then add cheese, again stirring until well combined. Add egg yolks one at a time, stirring to combine thoroughly before adding the next one.
- Beat egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold egg whites one-third at a time into the other ingredients. Stir until most white streaks are gone.
- Pour mixture into prepared souffle dish. Cut a circle around the top of the souffle to help keep it from cracking and falling. Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown on top.
To make the herb salad, gather spring mix, dill, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Emulsify lemon juice and olive oil - maybe a 1:2 ratio, I never measure. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your spring mix with added chopped dill and parsley.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 172 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 140mg Sodium: 294mg Carbohydrates: 6g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 1g Protein: 10g