I was a vegetarian for many years and this is the kind of recipe that I would so often seek out. It would allow me to maintain my vegetarian lifestyle by using it as an entrée while maintaining the peace in my household because everyone else could use it as a side dish. Even today we have many vegetarian friends and it helps when having them to dinner as they don’t have to sit twiddling their thumbs while everyone else is eating meat. I also like it because it is so versatile. You can easily substitute any hard type cheese for the parmesan in the souffle and the fillings can be varied in infinite ways. I am imagining a medley of wild mushrooms, some beautiful Spanish ham, olives, meaty prosciutto, ground beef and cheddar. It just goes on and on.
I took the smallest liberty here with the original recipe as I found wonderful crimini mushrooms as the market and just couldn’t resist slicing them up and using them in the filling but that is the only change I made here.
The filling is easy to prepare and provides the luxury of being able to be prepared and held for at least a day. The sauce I must admit takes a bit of cooking time to get the peppers soft as you don’t want them to brown and spoil their mellow flavors. It does make an ample amount so it is worth the few extra minutes of cooking time to have it on hand at all times for many uses. It also can be prepared ahead and held so that everything can be ready and then just a few minutes of prep and bake time for the souffle and the whole thing can be ready in under an hour. It makes a great luncheon dish with salad and crusty bread, a nice side dish as an alternative to potatoes or rice and as noted above a great vegetarian entrée.
John Ash has long been one of my favorite wine country chefs and I encourage you all to pick up his wonderful book “From The Earth To The Table”. It is loaded with great recipes such as this one, lots of hints and wine pairings and just makes a very pleasurable read.