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?

Cheese Souffle and Herb Salad

This recipe for a cheese souffle demystifies the dish. It's far easier to make than you expect and can be ready for a weekday lunch! Pair with an herb salad for a great punch of flavor. Make them in a full size souffle dish for a family meal or go fancy by making them in individual ramekins for a unique look and special feel.

Ingredients

    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
  • For the herb salad
  • Spring mix
  • Dill, chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Finely grate your cheese.
  2. Butter a large souffle dish. Coat the butter in either grated cheese or bread crumbs. Place 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.
  3. Place egg yolks in one bowl, and egg whites in another. Make sure the egg white bowl has no yellow in it at all, then add salt.
  4. Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, and cook for a minute or so, stirring regularly. Pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer until thick.
  5. Remove from heat, and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Stir, and then add the cheese, again stirring until well combined. Add egg yolks one at a time, stirring to combine thoroughly before adding the next one.
  6. Beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. Fold the egg whites one-third at a time into the other ingredients. Stir until most white streaks are gone.
  7. Pour the mixture into your 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 it's risen and golden brown on top.
  8. Serve it 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.
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    Comments

  • Liz @ Two Maids a Milking


    So, I get a semi cold ham and cheese sandwich and you get cheese souffle…so not fair!! People are still buzzing about the panel and I still can't believe you know Cris!! Small world!!

  • Susie


    Why would I run? That sounds and looks good!!!

  • ChefDruck


    Michelle, Cheese souffle and salad was always my mother's go to dinner when she was feeling uninspired on a weeknight. Now you've inspired me to whip it up later this week! You're so right, souffle gets a bad rap as tough to make, but it's such a great lunch. Great pic!

  • septembermom


    That's very pretty to serve. Looks good. I'm glad to hear that I could maybe tackle a souffle. Thanks!

  • Michelle


    Liz – So sorry 🙂 But hey, now you can make it when you get home. Glad to hear the panel was well received. It was so much fun!

    Susie – Well you wouldn't. But so many people hear souffle and don't think it's anything they could ever make. It's one of those mysteries that really isn't.

    Vanessa – Too funny. Then again, your mom was French, and the French attitude towards food and cooking is so different from what it is in the States. But yes, go whip one up. Mine is – sadly – all gone now.

    Kelly – It really is. I've made it for dinner parties before. It's a great light meal with some crusty bread and then a heavier dessert like … molten chocolate cakes! 😉

  • Pat


    I am impressed that you can fold with your left hand and record a video with your right hand at the same time. Nice job! The souffle looks fantastic. You could have your own cooking show.

  • Pat


    You were definitely using both sides of your brain to do those two different things simultaneously. I bet men, in general, don't do that as well, just because they have a smaller bundle of nerves connecting the two brain hemispheres. I know…I'm off task here. 🙂

  • Heather E


    oh this sounds so delicious i am DROOLING over here! OMG yum.

  • Michelle


    Again, blogger ate comments. I'm so frustrated!

    Liz – So sorry 🙂 But hey, now you can make it when you get home. Glad to hear the panel was well received. It was so much fun!

    Susie – Well you wouldn't. But so many people hear souffle and don't think it's anything they could ever make. It's one of those mysteries that really isn't.

    Vanessa – Too funny. Then again, your mom was French, and the French attitude towards food and cooking is so different from what it is in the States. But yes, go whip one up. Mine is – sadly – all gone now.

    Kelly – It really is. I've made it for dinner parties before. It's a great light meal with some crusty bread and then a heavier dessert like … molten chocolate cakes! 😉

  • Michelle


    Oops – and Kelly (Septembermom) had said: That's very pretty to serve. Looks good. I'm glad to hear that I could maybe tackle a souffle. Thanks!

  • Michelle


    Pat – I hate to admit it, but I'm left handed, so that part was easy. All I had to do was hold the other hand still. Do you know how fun it would be to have a cooking show? Or just teach cooking classes? I'd LOVE to do that.

    Heather – Drool away for now. And then come eat it when you can. I'm guessing this might be an early one for you since it's egg and cheese and milk with no bread?

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