- 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus ½ tsp for greasing
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 heaped tbsp polenta
An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…
- 1 tsp butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 25g plain flour
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 50g Parmesan, grated
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 50g light soft cheese
- 2 heaped tbsp snipped chives, plus extra to serve
- 2 large egg yolk
- 3 large egg white
- 50g rocket
Rocket is a very 'English' leaf, and has been used in salads since Elizabethan times. It…
For the tomato salsa
Lightly grease six 150ml ramekins with oil and coat with the polenta, shaking out any excess. Sit the ramekins in a small roasting tin. Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Remove from the heat and pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring well until mixture is smooth.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Return pan to the heat and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from the heat. Reserve 1 heaped tbsp of the Parmesan and stir the rest into the mixture, with the mustard, then the soft cheese in small spoonfuls. Add the chives, season with pepper and leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Mix together the tomatoes, onion, tomato purée and chillies. Season with a grinding of pepper, and chill.
Beat the egg yolks into the cheese mixture. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Using a large metal spoon, fold a spoonful into the mixture to slacken slightly. Gently and evenly fold in the remaining whites, half at a time, keeping mixture light and airy. Evenly spoon into the ramekin dishes to fill. Pour cold water into the roasting tin to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 15-18 mins until golden on top and risen. Carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool. The soufflés will sink as they cool – they can be left for 20 mins before re-baking, or cover the dishes once cold and keep overnight in the fridge.
When ready to serve, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. If the soufflés have been in the fridge, sit them at room temperature for about 10 mins before baking. Turn each out of its dish and place, right-side up, on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan over each soufflé, then bake for 10 mins or until risen. Scatter with chives. Serve each with a pile of rocket and salsa.
Make ahead tips
You can make the soufflés up to one day ahead. Simply chill, then re-bake when ready to serve. They can also be frozen for 2-3 weeks – cool first, remove from the dishes, then wrap with cling film and foil. Bake from frozen for about 20 mins. The salsa can be made one day ahead and chilled.