Do Over….Please? by Margo Elfstrom

I love a good souffle.  Unfortunately, when I embarked on my  souffle adventure yesterday, my souffle stars were not aligned.  I had my plan, which was to use dandelion greens and make my version of individual spinach souffles.  When seasoning the mixture, I wasn’t careful with my measurements and came out with pretty souffles that were way too salty.  Had I been on a certain cooking show, I would have been chopped.  Luckily, I wasn’t in the middle of a pressure test so I decided to regroup, get some sleep and try again this morning.

All though I’m not much of a horoscope follower, I decided to check it before I started cooking because having not cleaned up after last nights adventure, I dipped my spoon in the wrong canister and wound up with flour in my coffee.  Not a good omen.  I can admit to a little bit of superstitious behavior and I do pray to a goddess of parking named Eunice.  She’s the one who helps you get a parking spot when there are none to be had, can’t remember who told me about her but I’ve been lightly praying to her ever since.  I can also admit to kissing my fingers and then putting them on the windshield when I go through a yellow light (I guess it’s to ward off police officers, never been clear on that one)…that’s been going on since high school. I consulted Yahoo and the horoscope told me to take care of money matters today, how do they know that I’ve procrastinated paying a few bills.  I must admit to feeling relieved that it didn’t say anything about avoiding sharp objects or using caution when pulling hot things out of the oven.  With a new found sense of hope, I retired to the greenhouse, where I’ve been growing dandelion greens.

Dandelion Green Souffle with Fig Gastrique
Recipe Type: side or appetizer
Author: Margo-A SaucyCook
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 6
A light, creamy souffle with a delicious fig gastrique
  • For Souffle
  • 1 1/3 tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs grated parmesan (plus extra for garnish)
  • 4 Tbs marscarpone cheese
  • 1 lb stemmed, chopped dandelion greens
  • 2 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs grated onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 Tbs fresh oregano
  • 3 eggs separated
  • For Gastrique
  • 1/3 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/6 cup of coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 figs, diced
  1. Brush the inside of a large souffle dish or 6 small souffle ramekins with butter and sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  2. Sautee the dandelion greens until they’re wilted and most of the moisture has cooked off. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a separate medium saucepan, melt the marscarpone over medium heat and stir in the flour and salt. Cook the flour, whisking constantly for 30 seconds. Add the milk and continue whisking the flour mixture for about 4 minutes until the mixture is thick. Add the dandelion greens, onion, garlic and other spices and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Whisk 1/2 cup of the spinach into the egg yolks and then add the yolks back into the hot spinach, making sure it’s well mixed. Beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Stir one third of the egg whites into the spinach and then fold the remaining whites into the mixture. Spoon into the prepared souffle pan or ramekins and bake for 30 minutes or until the souffles are puffed up and cooked through.
For Gastrique
  1. Heat the sugar in a saucepan until dissolved and golden brown. Carefully add vinegar and coffee liqueur. It will bubble and spit so don’t get too close to the pot. Add garlic, fig, oregano and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce until syrupy. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to break up the fig.
  2. Serve the souffles straight out of the oven they will deflate. Use gastique as a sauce on the side and sprinkle with parmesan.

While most view dandelions as a weed, I look at them as an alternate food source.  These greens can be used in place of spinach and they’re a delicious nutrition packed addition to salads.  The fact that they are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper (whew, think I’m out of breath) makes them a often overlooked but valuable source of nutrients…plus, I promise that they are really easy to grow (as evidenced by my front yard).

This morning’s souffles turned out to be delicious, I decided to toss a few pine nuts on it and create a fig gastrique in order to play off of  the slightly astringent flavor of the dandelions.  So I guess my souffle karma was better today and concerning myself with my horoscope wasn’t the answer…my camera karma was not so good, the prep pics were a disaster so not going to post them.  The final pic was OK though so not sure what happened. Sorry guys!  I guess everything somehow balances out in the end.  I think I’ll head off and pay a few bills, I enjoy having electricity.  Bon Appetite!

Don’t forget to head out to Comfortably Hungry and visit Sam….I don’t think that she ever has bad days in the kitchen and must admit I’m a little envious!  Her Baked Alaska looks absolutely gorgeous!!!!

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  1. 8-5-2012

    Dandelions? Intriguing…

    • 8-6-2012

      They really are delicious! The young ones are less bitter.

  2. 8-6-2012

    These sound amazing! I’ve never had much luck growing dandelion greens deliberately (although they love growing on my lawn) but I will give it a go so that I can try this recipe. The fig gastrique sounds interesting too. Did you use fresh or dried figs?

    Don’t worry – I have plenty of disasters in the kitchen. You should have seen the first Cromarty loaf I baked. It looked more like a pancake than a loaf of bread!

    I’ll be sure to pray to the goddess Eunice next time I can’t find a parking space! Happy cooking! Sam x

  3. 8-6-2012

    LOL I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one, who has occasional disasters! This final batch was really good and it’s something I’ll do again. I did use dried figs but would love to try it with fresh.

    Love the fact I could share Eunice….somehow, I usually get a good space! Thanks Sam!

  4. 8-7-2012

    Sooo excited to see you used dandelion greens! So tasty, and healthy, and what a clever use of them, instead of spinach! Great superstitions…it looks like after a bit of a rough ride the stars aligned for this awesome recipe, after all.

    • 8-7-2012

      I love dandelion greens…easy to find! LOL Thanks Koko.

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