The nutty sweetness of Sunchokes (also called Jerusalem Artichokes) adds an extra element of flavor to this classic souffle. The addition of pecans makes it seasonal and festive.
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
- ¼ cup plus 3 t grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pound sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1‑inch chunks
- ¼ cup flour
- 4 egg yolks
- kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, minced
- ½ teaspoon sage leaves, minced
- 5 egg whites
- enough milk to cover sunchokes when cooking
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut a length of parchment paper big enough to wrap around a 5‑cup souffle dish, then fold it in half and tie it in place using twine. You want this collar to stick up about 1‑inch above the rim. Alternatively you may use a larger souffle dish and skip the collar though you will not get a dramatic rise over the rim. Whichever you choose, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and brush the bottom and sides of the souffle dish and collar with it. Add 2 T of pecans and 2 T of Parmesan cheese; rotate the dish to thoroughly coat the sides and bottom. Set aside.
Combine the milk and sunchokes in a medium-sized saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered about 30minutes. The sunchokes will have become quite tender.
When fully cooked reserve 1 ¼ cups of the hot milk and strain the rest off the sunchokes. Let them cool slightly before proceeding.
Using a food processor puree the cooled sunchokes until very smooth. Pass the puree through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl. Use the back of a spoon to push as much of the puree through as possible. Discard the solids.
Melt the remaining 4 T butter in a medium-sized sauce pan set over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook whisking the whole time for 2 minutes. Slowly add the 1 ¼ cups reserved warm milk a little at a time as you whisk. The mixture should be smooth and free of lumps. Then add the sunchoke puree, Whisk to incorporate and remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time until smooth. Whisk in salt, herbs and remaining pecans and Parmesan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites into stiff peaks. Then gently fold the sunchoke mixture into the egg whites taking care not to deflate the egg whites. You need not thoroughly mix them together. A folding motion is better. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish. It should come almost to the top of the collar if using to get a good rise above the rim. But it will still rise and be delicious if your dish is a bit bigger and the mixture does not fill the dish all the way to the top.
Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.