Another Recipe for Seasonal Cooking… Winter

Here’s a recipe from Jenny at thenourishedkitchen.com

Daily Fare: Butternut Squash Souffle with Roasted Garlic

Link to The Nourished Kitchen

Butternut Squash Souffle with Roasted Garlic 

Posted: 01 Feb 2011 08:00 PM PST

Winter squash soufflé, sweet and mild yet robust with the complex flavor of roasted garlic, finds its way to our kitchen table towards winter’s end every year.   It’s this point in mid- to late-winter that we sort through the remnants from autumn’s harvest gleaned from the last days of our farmers market: stray turnips and carrots, shallots and withered garlic, daikon radish and beets if we’re lucky, but there’s always plenty of squash leftover as it sweetens with age.  Butternut, buttercup, amber cup, Cinderella, sweet dumpling, carnival – I love them all.

We’d eat winter squash soufflés and pumpkin custards all winter long if it weren’t for the shortage of eggs that hits the valley as the days wane into darkness toward the solstice.  Now, in mid- to late-winter as the  sun, pale and drawn, begins to peek out from behind the snow clouds and the days increase in length, our valley’s hens begin producing again and we can better enjoy the abundance of farm fresh eggs with a true relish.  So it’s this time of year, a fleeting few weeks, when we can combine the last of the garlic with time-sweetened winter squash and the first eggs of the new  year.

I love eggs, not on their own, but in combination with other flavors – Swiss chard and potato frittata and oeufs en cocotte with lox, for example.   A farm fresh egg is a perfect food – nourishing, nutrient-dense, diverse and utterly beautiful.  Each week, as we trudge through the snow to the drop-off point at a friend’s home a few blocks away, I look forward to the colorful array of eggs that’ll greet us: pale blue to green, brown and white.  A pretty egg is a lovely treat.

Moreover, farm fresh eggs are extraordinarily rich in nutrients, making that extra cost associated with buying local pastured eggs worth every penny; after all, a single egg contains three more vitamin E and seven times more beta carotene than a conventionally raised hen.  Moreover, egg yolks are particularly rich in choline – a water-soluble nutrient.  Inadequate choline levels are implicated in breast cancer, congenital birth defects, liver disease and preeclampsia.  Vegans and vegetarians are at particular risk of deficiency while those who avoid eggs and egg yolks should be mindful to consume enough choline from other sources like liver.

Winter Squash Soufflé with Roasted Garlic

a winter souffle of  squash, roasted garlic and parmesan cheese

In this simple winter squash soufflé, we omit the classic inclusion of béchamel sauce in favor of a simple vegetable purée – resulting in a grain- and gluten-free soufflé.  Garlic provides an appealing depth of flavor that enhances the squash’s natural sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs winter squash, any variety
  • 1 head garlic
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided, plus extra for dusting the souffle dish
  • butter, for greasing the souffle dish (see sources)
  • olive oil, for oiling the squash (see sources)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius).
  2. Split the squash and seed them, then evenly distribute the unpeeled garlic cloves of one head of garlic among the squash cavities.  Invert the garlic-filled squash on a baking sheet and coat their skins with olive oil.
  3. Roast the squash in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) until their skins brown and are easily pierced with a knife, about forty-five minutes.  Turn off the oven, remove the squash and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  4. After the squash has cooled to room temperature, turn the oven on again and preheat it to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius), then spoon the flesh of the roasted squash into a food processor.  Peel the roasted garlic and add it to the food processor.
  5. Butter a souffle dish and dust it with parmesan cheese.
  6. Pulse the squash and garlic to combine, then add the egg yolks and three-quarters cup grated parmesan cheese and process until smooth.
  7. Meanwhile whip the egg whites with salt until they form soft peaks.
  8. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the egg and squash mixture.
  9. Pour the souffle mixture into the buttered and parmesan-dusted souffle dish.  Top with remaining one-quarter cup grated parmesan cheese and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) until the souffle is puffed and browned, with the center remaining wobbly – about thirty to forty minutes.
  10. Serve immediately lest it fall.

YIELD: about 4 to 6 servings.
TIME: about 2 hours

Love Winter Squash Soufflé?  Try these winter recipes:

brisket with tzimmes

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t waste those squash seeds; instead, toast them with chilli and lime.

collard greens recipe

Creamed Collard Greens

Creamed collard greens, in all their old-fashioned charm, soothe a worn soul.  The greens briney undertones pair nicely with the rich, sweetness of fresh cream and caramelized onions.

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