A featherweight rendering of cheese and herbs.Gather Journal Herby Soufflé
A soufflé can be dish as metaphor—successful preparation, an emblem of one’s kitchen prowess. That it means “puffed up”, is fitting then, since cooking one without collapse can do just that for the ego.
Carefully separate the eggs, reserving 5 yolks in a small bowl and 7 whites in a larger bowl.
Melt butter with garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat, cooking just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in yolks one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Transfer to a medium bowl. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 6-cup soufflé dish and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp Parmigiano, knocking out excess.
Stir Gruyère, herbs, spices, and remaining ⅓ cup Parmigiano into cooled soufflé base. Using an electric mixer, beat the whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed and beat until you have stiff peaks. Fold ¼ of the whites into the base, then gently fold the lightened base into remaining egg whites. Spoon into prepared pan and bake until risen and golden-brown, 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.