Seasonal local food recipe No 70: Jerusalem artichoke and goat’s cheese soufflé

jerusalem artichokes-camel csa

Yotam Ottolenghi’s timely recipe from last Saturday’s Guardian Weekend magazine: ‘Slightly sweet and vaguely mushroomy, jerusalem artichoke is here combined with goat’s cheese, egg and lemon in a very elegant dish.’ Make it in ramekins or shallow, ovenproof soup bowls.

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation/cooking: about an hour

grated zest and juice of half a lemon
300g jerusalem artichokes
30g walnuts
60g unsalted butter
25g plain flour
250ml milk
3 small free-range eggs, separated
¼tsp chilli flakes
½tbsp chopped thyme
120g hard goat’s cheese, grated
¼tsp salt

Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Put a baking sheet on the top shelf. This will help the soufflés rise.

Pour the lemon juice into a pan and add enough water to half-fill the pan. Peel the artichokes and immediately drop them in the water so they don’t discolour. Once they’re all peeled, bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes, until soft. Drain and transfer to a small food processor bowl. Work to a purée, adding a little water if needed to bring it together. You will need exactly 130g of purée. Put the ramekins in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile blitz the nuts until powdery. Melt half the buter, and brush inside the ramekins. Spoon walnut powder into each ramekin and turn the dishes so it coats the base and sides. Tip out any excess powder.

Over a moderate heat, melt the remaining butter in a medium pan. Stir in the flour, cook for a minute, then gradually add the milk, stirring, until the sauce is thick and bubbles appear on the surface.

In a large bowl, mix the 130g jerusalem artichoke purée, the egg yolks, chilli, thyme, cheese, lemon zest and salt. Add the sauce and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool down.

Put the egg whites in a large, clean bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. Add a little of the egg white mix to the artichoke base and stir to loosen, then fold in the remaining egg whites with a large metal spoon, taking care to retain as much air as possible.

Fill up each ramekin with the soufflé mix so it comes up 1.5cm short of the top. Place on the heated baking sheet, and bake for 12-18 minutes, until golden brown and risen well. Serve at once.

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