Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Vegbox cooking - the green soufflé

Day one of cooking with my veg box contents...

I decided the sprouting broccoli needed to be tackled first, as I already had a heap in the fridge (love it!). And the massive bunch of wild garlic that I wasn't sure what to do with.

Just a day or so earlier I had been watching Tamasin Day-Lewis on some cookery channel making haddock soufflé, which had looked surprisingly easy.

I've never tried a soufflé before, but it struck me that it might work with some green veg.

So, I sweated down some finely chopped shallots in butter and oil, then once they were soft added a handful of shredded wild garlic and a couple of handfuls of sprouting broccoli, cut into fairly small florets and leaves.

I stirred this for about 5 minutes more until lightly cooked, and took off the heat.

Then I made a béchamel. Afraid I can't give you the measurements because I just do it by eye. About a finger's width of butter, a shake or two of flour, maybe 1/2 pint of milk?

Into this, I intended to add two egg yolks, but clumsily split the yolk when trying to separate the first egg, so it ended up being one yolk and one whole egg. I whisked the remaining egg white until stiff peaks formed, and then folded this into the bechamel and egg mixture and seasoned (salt, pepper, a little mustard powder).

The greens went into an oval oven dish, and I spooned the soufflé mixture on top, then popped the whole lot in a moderate oven (when in doubt put it on 200C is my general oven philosophy) for 20 minutes.

I popped a couple of the vegbox mushrooms in the oven also, with some butter dotted on them. I had been boiling some new potatoes that I already had in stock, and sauteed these as the souffle and mushroom cooked.


... the result was one of the nicest things I've eaten in ages. Despite the broken yolk and missing an egg white, the soufflé was meltingly soft and light, and the creamy souffle top went perfectly with lightly garlicky broccoli underneath. The mushroom was big and meaty, and it all went together like a dream. I felt like I'd just been to a really nice restaurant (although admittedly it doesn't look that special!).

And then, carried away with the cooking bug, I also got together a batch of Joy the Baker's brownies.

Yum! Look at that gooey goodness...

I sliced and lightly steamed some of the hard green pears and apples in the veg box, and served these and a dollop of greek yoghurt alongside.


So nice to finally cook a meal I really really enjoyed. Recently I seem to have eaten far too much mediocre stuff, uninspiring stuff. And I really think it is down to the ingredients in the main. If they're right, then the inspiration is there and with a little bit of knowledge and some careful handling you're pretty much guaranteed a good eat. If the ingredients are just a bit crap, on the other hand - the watery peppers and tasteless tomatoes that supermarkets serve up for example - then it'll be much more difficult to salvage something delicious.


  1. Wow that souffle looks absolutely delicious.

  2. The whole dinner looks yummy. I am salivating right now. Will have to look into the vege box thing. Seems like a great option...

  3. That looks amazing. I love Broccoli and wild garlic. YUM!

  4. i've never tried a souffle. congrats on your success with this one.