6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
¼ cup plus 5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
About 2 pounts of green garlic, enough to yield 4 cups sliced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 thyme sprigs
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of
a 13 by 9 inch oval gratin dish. Sprinkle the buttered dish evenly with
3 tablespoons of the cheese.
2. To trim the green garlic, cut off and discard the tough, dark green
leafy tops, which resemble the tops of leeks. You will use only the
white and pale green part of the stalks. Cut the trimmed stalk in half
lengthwise, then slice thinly crosswise. Put the sliced garlic in a
large pot of cold water and swish well to dislodge any dirt. Lift the
garlic into a sieve or colander with your hands or with a wire-mesh
skimmer. Let drain.
3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over moderately
low heat. Add the green garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir to
coat with the butter, then cover with a round of parchment paper and
the lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the green garlic is
meltingly tender, about 20 minutes, uncovering to stir occasionally.
4. While the green garlic cooks, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons
butter in a small saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the flour and
whisk to blend. Cook, whisking, for about 1 minute, then add the milk
gradually, whisking constantly. Add the thyme sprigs. Adjust the heat
to maintain a gentle bubble and cook, whisking often, for about 5
minutes to allow the béchamel to thicken and to infuse it with
the herb flavor. Stir in the nutmeg. Remove from the heat and let cool
for 10 minutes.
5. Whisk the egg yolks, one at a time, into the béchamel. Whisk
in the 1/4 cup cheese, then season with salt and pepper. Remove the
thyme sprigs, and stir the cooked green garlic into the béchamel
6. With an electric mixer or by hand, beat the egg whites to firm but
not stiff peaks. Fold the whites, one-third at a time, into the base.
Transfer the soufflé mixture to the prepared baking dish,
spreading it evenly. Top with the remaining 2 tablespoons cheese.
7. Bake until the soufflé is well puffed, firm to the touch, and
golden brown, 17 to 18 minutes. Serve immediately.
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