Called chicon in Belgium and in the North of France, and more widely known as chicory in English, this vegetable is as tasty cooked as it is used in salads or even as a wrap to be served as nibbles. Today, after a lovely week-end back home, I am cooking some Endives au Gratin, a traditional dish in the North of France and in Belgium, and a perfect meal when the weather starts to get colder.
(for 2 people)
- 4 chicories
- 8 slices of ham
- 60 grams butter
- 60 grams flour
- Gruyère cheese
- Nutmeg, black pepper and salt to taste
How to make it
- Preheat the oven at 210°C and grease an oven proof dish.
- Cook the endives in salted water that has come to the boil – this should take around 20 minutes depending on the size of the endives. Drain the endives well.
- Prepare a béchamel sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour. Back on the heat, add some milk little by little and whisk constantly until the sauce béchamel thickens up to the right consistency. Grate some nutmeg and add some pepper and salt to your liking.
- Wrap each endive with 2 slices of ham and lay them in the oven proof dish.
- Coat the endives with the béchamel sauce and sprinkle some grated Gruyère over the dish. If you can’t find any Gruyère, Cheddar will do just the trick!
- Cook in the oven for around 20 minutes et voilà you have a comforting and homely winter dish ready to share with your loved ones!
Do you fancy spicing things up a little? Consider spreading some mustard on one side of the ham before wrapping the endives with it. For variety, you might want to add some mushrooms to the béchamel sauce or spread a few bites of camembert in the dish before putting it in the oven.