It might seem perverse to make a soufflé only to roll it into a sausage. Trust me.
This is a divine make-ahead snack for a picnic. I take it on my wild foods walks, pre-sliced and well-wrapped. Everyone wants the recipe, so here it is. You can make it the night before you need it.
In spring I use canned tomato sauce and invasive garlic mustard for the pesto. In summer I use fresh tomatoes, with basil in the pesto. And for garlic mustard I prefer pecan nuts; pine nuts for the basil.
(If using home-canned or bought tomato sauce, you need 3/4's of a cup.)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely sliced
5 medium, very ripe tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1.5 cups milk
3/4 cup tomato sauce
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup Emmenthaler cheese
5 egg whites
Garlic Mustard or Basil Pesto
4 cups tightly packed garlic mustard leave and flowers, or basil leaves
1/2 cup pecans or pine nuts
1 clove garlic, crushed (omit if using garlic mustard)
1 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup EV olive oil
For the tomato sauce: Cut a cross at the top of each tomato. In a bowl, cover the tomatoes with boiling water for 1 minute. Remove them, peel off their skins, and core the tough stem ends. Chop them roughly, saving the juice.
Sauté the onion and garlic in a large pan over medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, and the sugar. Cook at a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring. Taste and add salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to cool, then puree in a blender. (You'll have more than you need.)
For the tomato soufflé: Preheat the oven to 375'F. Line a 9" x 15" jelly roll pan with oiled parchment paper cut to extend above the sides of the pan.
Put the flour in a large round-bottomed saucepan and slowly add the milk, beating with a spoon or whisk till perfectly smooth. Place the saucepan over low heat and and keep stirring the mixture till thick, letting it boil for 60 seconds, still beating. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomato sauce. Allow to cool, and stir in the egg yolks. Add the cheese. Taste, and season heavily with salt and pepper (the egg whites will dilute the seasoning). Whisk the egg whites to peaks. Fold half the egg whites into the cool tomato mixture, then incorporate the second half, using a light hand.
Gently pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared pan and smooth it into the corners. Bake for 40-45 minutes - it will rise and the top will brown. A skewer should come out clean, when you test it.
Moisten a clean kitchen towel and wring it out (if it is not moist the souffle will stick). Remove the soufflé from the oven. Place the moist towel over a plastic chopping board and place the board towel-side down over the soufflé. Deftly invert, and remove the pan from the upside-down soufflé. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Cover till you are ready to spread the pesto.
For the pesto: (You can make this well in advance, but bring to room temperature before using. You will need about 1/3 cup for the souffle. Freeze the rest.) Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse till it forms a rough paste. Scrape the sides down, add a large pinch of salt and repeat. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little more olive oil.
To assemble: Gently spread a layer over pesto over the whole souffle. Standing at one end, use the damp towel to roll the soufflé over on itself. Once it is in a log shape remove the towel gently and transfer the rolled soufflé to a flat plate or board and cover well in clingwrap till needed.
To serve, cut into slices. It's good with some extra, fresh tomato sauce poured over.