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Beet Souffle

Snap up the season's first bunched baby beets for this gorgeous souffle with a bright pink interior. Based on a recipe by Ellen Ecker Ogden, in her wonderful book From the Cook's Garden.


1 bunch baby beets
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
1/3 cup mandarin grapefruit soda or orange juice
1 t cider syrup
4 T butter
3 T grated gouda
1/2 cup chevre or crumbled goat cheese
3 T flour
1 cup milk
4 large eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375.

Scrub the beets, trim off the tops, then wash the greens well and set aside.

In a small oven-safe pan with a lid, toss the beets with a drizzle of olive oil, 1 clove of the garlic, and plenty of salt and red pepper flakes.

Cover, and roast the beets until a fork enters easily (about 35-40 minutes).

Allow the beets to cool well before slicing them about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix together the soda and cider syrup in a bowl, then add the sliced beets.

Warm a little more olive oil in a skillet, chop the greens, season, and then cook them gently with the garlic.

When the greens are wilted and the garlic fragrant, remove from the heat.

Butter a 1 quart baking dish with 1 T of the butter, and sprinkle the grated gouda over the bottom of the dish.

Layer the sliced beets over the gouda, pour in the soda/juice mixture, then crumble the chevre on top.

Melt the remaining 3 T of butter in a saucean over medium low heat.

Whisk in the flour, and let it cook for a minute or two.

Pour in a very small amount of the milk, whisk until a thick paste is formed, and then slowly add the rest of the milk, whisking after each addition.

Increase the heat to medium, and bring to a simmer, whisking very frequently.

Once it has thickened (check with your finger - it should form a thick coating), remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly.

Whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.

Stir in the cooked and chopped beet tops.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Mix 1/4 of the whites into the sauce, then fold in the rest.

Pour the sauce over the beets in the baking dish.

Bake about 30 minutes, until golden and puffed, and serve immediately.