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  • Writer's pictureRuby Deubry

RECIPE: Romanesco & Purple Cauliflower Souffle

Romanesco cauliflower - or Romanesco for short - has a taste that’s a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. It’s not in season long; only from late Fall through Winter. If you’re lucky enough to find it, use it. If you can find purple cauliflower, even better. A combination of both will make a stylishly tasteful addition to your holiday dinner!


1 Romanesco cauliflower or ½ Romanesco and ½ purple cauliflower, leaves discarded

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp whipping cream

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

1 small shallot, finely diced

¾ cup milk, warmed

4 yolks

2 tbsp finely diced chives

1 ½ tsp finely diced tarragon

1 tsp whole grain Dijon mustard seed

1 firmly packed cup of finely shredded Emmental cheese

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

7 whites

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp cream of tartar

Extra butter (softened) for coating the dish

Finely grated parmesan


  • Food processor or hand-held blender for puréeing

  • 1 ½ quart porcelain soufflé dish (or dish with straight sides)

  • Parchment paper and butchers twine for making and securing a collar. You could also staple the ends.


  1. Place an oven rack on the lower third of the oven and remove all upper racks. Preheat the oven to 380°F (194°C).

  2. Prepare your soufflé bowl: coat the inside of the bowl with butter then dust with finely grated parmesan. If you’re using a collar, determine which part of the parchment will be exposed to the soufflé and also coat with butter and parmesan. Secure with twine or staples. Savvy Tip: make sure your collared-dish will fit in your oven before you bake!

  3. Remove the florets from the cauliflower, cut into small pieces, and roast for 15 minutes.

  4. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, swirling often, until brown and fragrant. It will only take a few minutes. Set aside.

  5. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil then season lightly with salt. Boil the cauliflower stalks and stems until tender, about 4 minutes, then drain.

  6. Immediately purée the boiled cauliflower with the brown butter and whipping cream until smooth. Cover and set aside.

  7. Make the custard base: in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 3 tbsp. of butter. Add the flour and whisk until the flour has cooked for a few minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the milk and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove. Cool slightly and whisk in the egg yolks, cauliflower purée, herbs, mustard seed, salt and pepper. Stir in the Emmental.

  8. Make the meringue: in a clean dry bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. When the eggs are frothy, add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff, satiny peaks form.

  9. Mix 1/3rd of the egg whites into the custard base to lighten. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the custard.

  10. Ladle one-third of the mixture into the soufflé dish. Sprinkle evenly with ½ of the cauliflower florets. Repeat another layer. Finish with spooning the remaining soufflé mixture on top.

  11. Bake immediately for 25 minutes until the top is golden and the mixture jiggles just a bit when shaken. Serve immediately.

I had fun making cauliflower stencil patterns out of sliced cauliflower and finely grated Parmesan cheese to make it look like ‘snow’!

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