Filo Cheese Soufflé with Roast Cherry Tomato Salad

Paul Merrett adds a crusty bottom to classic cheese soufflé and serves with salad redolent with Mediterranean flavours
By Paul Merrett
Filo Cheese Soufflé with Roast Cherry Tomato Salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3/4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 bunches cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1 bulbs fennel, cut into wedges keeping root on
  • 1 large courgette, sliced lengthways
  • rock salt

For the dressing

  • 1 large bunchbunch parsley
  • handful tarragon leaves
  • handful leaves chervil
  • 300 ml extra virgin olive oil

For the garnish

  • 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • sprigs chervil

For the soufflé

  • 3 whole eggs, plus 9 egg yolks
  • 85 g flour
  • 750 ml milk
  • 40 g butter
  • salt and black pepper
  • handful gruyère cheese, grated
  • handful parmesan, grated

For the filo shells

  • 25 g butter, melted
  • 4 sheets filo pastry

Method

1. To make the herb oil, place the herbs in a plastic container with the olive oil and blitz with a good quality hand blender. Place in a squeezy bottle for use later.

2. Heat the oven to 60 degrees or the lowest setting on your gas oven. Lightly sprinkle the cherry tomatoes with rock salt and dry roast them for 1hr 30 mins.

3. To cook the fennel, fry with a little olive oil in a non-stick pan until golden brown. Fry the courgette slices on a griddle pan with a drizzle of olive oil until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

4. To make the soufflé, put the eggs, yolks and flour together in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk.

5. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan with salt and pepper and bring the mixture to the boil. Pour the hot milk over the egg mixture and return the whole mixture to the saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring continually. Then whisk in a mixture of gruyère and Parmesan cheese to taste. Make sure you reserve some Parmesan for lining the ramekins.

5. Heat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

6. Lightly butter 4 small ramekins.

7. Use one sheet of filo pastry per ramekin, brush with melted butter on one side and fold in half. Cut the filo pastry so it is 2cm bigger than diameter of ramekin.

8. Push the double disc of filo inside a ramekin so that it lines the base and comes half way up the side. Place a crunched-up piece of foil on top. Repeat with the remaining pastry and ramekins.

9. Bake the filo-lined ramekins for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and turn up to 200C/gas 6.

10. Remove from the foil and brush the inside of each ramekin with melted butter, keeping the filo pastry in place. Sprinkle the inside with grated Parmesan cheese.

11. Fill each ramekin with enough soufflé mixture to come half way up the sides. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.

12. Place a portion of salad on the side of four small plates. Drizzle with herb oil and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar per plate. Place the ramekin on the plate (or turn the soufflé out onto the plate, if you're feeling brave) and garnish the soufflé with chervil. Serve.

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