“The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you’re afraid of it”
The first time I made a soufflé, it was a screaming success! I mean look at it – it rose up high and even, had the right amount of air pockets; The texture was light and fluffy, and the taste amazing.
Since then, I had not baked a soufflé for a VERY long time. Why? Because I was afraid. I was afraid that it will never come out as perfectly as the first time. Oh, how I would have failed myself miserably and how disappointed I would be…
Last month, as I was going through the Esalen Cookbook, baking an awesome Apricot Walnut Bread that is now forever added to my “Greatest Hits“, I came across a recipe for this savory soufflé. It’s begging me to make it, but my fear got in the way. I pondered upon it for weeks, read and researched all the techniques there is about soufflé making. Finally last night, I said to myself “to heck with it, I am going to make it!”
I did, and it turned out magnificently.
Quinoa & Veggie Soufflé
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
- 2 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 4 eggs, separated
Place the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse. In a saucepan over high heat, stir in the quinoa. Continue to stir 5 minutes or until it has a nutty aroma. Add the water, lower the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Rinse the quinoa: Measure 1 cup of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 2 minutes. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.
- Toast quinoa in saucepan (optional): Heat a drizzle of olive oil in the saucepan over medium-high heat, and add the drained quinoa. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute to let the water evaporate and toast the quinoa.
In a saute pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the grated carrots with 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Set aside. Saute the zucchini and onion separately, using the same method as the carrots. Place the quinoa, carrots, zucchini, and onion in a mixing bowl. Add the Asiago, and ricotta and stir well. Add the salt, pepper, and basil. Beat the egg yokes and stir into the mixture, making sure everything is well mixed. Beat the egg whites until they have stiff peaks, and then gently fold them into the mixture.
Oil a 6-inch souffle pan and pour the mixture into it. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F, covered, for 30 minutes; uncovered and bake 30 minutes more. The souffle is done when a knife inserted into it comes out clean.
In the end I learned that life is not about perfection. It is about trying our best, allowing ourselves to make mistakes along the way and learn from it. In fact, if we stop at perfection, we will never progress.
I will be baking many soufflés in the future. Each of them will come out differently. They are just like us individuals -beautiful, unique and happily imperfect.
Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you all for reading my imperfect blog!