Asparagus-Goat Cheese Souffles. (Ken BurrisEatingWell / April 17, 2013)

Puffy and warm, these asparagus-goat cheese soufflés are the essence of spring. Serve them alongside a big salad with a tangy vinaigrette for a light supper or a special brunch. Though these are wonderful either way, the addition of truffle oil is spectacular and decadent tasting.

Asparagus-Goat Cheese Souffles

Makes 6 servings.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed

1 1/2 cups nonfat milk

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pinch of ground nutmeg

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature (see tips)

1 1/2 teaspoons truffle oil (optional; see tips)

8 large egg whites , at room temperature

1 cup crumbled or diced aged goat cheese (see note) or Manchego cheese

Fill a large skillet with 1 inch of hot water and bring to a boil. Add asparagus. Partially cover and cook the asparagus until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain; refresh under cold water. Blot the asparagus dry with a clean kitchen towel, then cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Position rack on lowest level of oven; preheat to 375 F. Coat six 10-ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Place ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking often, for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and slowly whisk in hot milk. Return the heat to medium-low and continue whisking until the mixture is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and whisk in 4 egg yolks, one at a time, and truffle oil, if using. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the asparagus and cheese.