The dining experience begins with the indulgent delight of a Cheese Soufflé, a classic French dish characterized by its ethereal texture. Enriched with flavorful cheeses, and delicately folded with whipped egg whites, the soufflé emerges from the oven with a golden-brown crust, offering a harmonious blend of rich, savory flavors. Accompanying this culinary masterpiece is a vibrant Radicchio Salad, where the bold, slightly bitter notes of radicchio leaves are paired with shallots and Dijon mustard. The salad’s composition is elevated by a light and tangy dressing, creating a perfect counterpoint to the soufflé’s decadence. Together, these dishes promise a dining experience that marries the airy sophistication of a soufflé with the crisp, refreshing bite of a thoughtfully composed salad.
Ingredients for Soufflé
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish
2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 pinch espelette or cayenne pepper
4 large egg yolks
5 large cold egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
3 ounces (85g) freshly grated fontina cheese
Ingredients for Radicchio Salad
Two medium heads of radicchio
2-3 cups Frisee lettuce or similar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (we love Edmund Fallot)
4 to 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
01To prepare the oven and soufflé dish for baking, preheat your oven to 375 F. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Grease a 1.5-quart soufflé dish generously with butter. Dust the greased dish with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, ensuring an even coating. Set aside.
02To make the roux, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once melted, add the all-purpose flour and whisk continuously for about 2 minutes until the mixture turns a pale golden color, forming a roux. Gradually pour in the whole milk, whisking constantly to create a smooth, thick sauce. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens.
03Season the sauce with salt, freshly ground black pepper, Dijon mustard (if using), and cayenne pepper or hot sauce (if using). Stir well to incorporate the flavors. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are well beaten. Gradually add the egg yolks to the sauce, one at a time, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.
04In a clean, dry bowl, start making the soufflé base. Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until they become foamy. Add cream of tartar (if using) for stability. Gradually add the grated Gruyère cheese (or other semi-firm cheese) to the soufflé base and gently fold it in until evenly distributed. Carefully fold in one-third of the whipped egg whites into the soufflé base to lighten it. Then, gently fold in the remaining whipped egg whites until no streaks remain. Be gentle to maintain the airiness of the mixture.
05Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared soufflé dish, ensuring its level. Run your thumb around the inside rim of the dish to create a shallow groove; this helps the soufflé rise evenly.
06Place the soufflé dish on the preheated baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffed up, golden brown on top, and slightly jiggly in the center.
07While souffle is baking, combine shallots, vinegar, salt, and dijon in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture until fully combined and emulsified. Cut off the base of the radicchio and cut into quarter wedges. Toss wedges and frisee in vinaigrette. Serve souffle and salad immediately, as soufflés deflate quickly!