Endives are typically in season in the winter so this gratin is perfect for a heartwarming winter “one dish only” supper. This endive with ham gratin entree (endives au jambon) is just perfect for a cold evening and is loaded with the goodness of vegetables. It also has a delicious white creamy sauce (bechamel sauce) so make sure you have some fresh bread to go with it so you can dunk your bread in it – si bon (so good)! This endive gratin is an old-fashioned winter classic in France. It is just a satisfying and delicious dish that provides a good serving of vegetables – always a plus for moms and grandmas all over the world that try to encourage children to eat their veggies!
Check below for our easy endive with ham gratin recipe, Art of the Home suggestions, and our Menu du Jour which includes this delicious entree. You can also make it ahead and just warm it up before dinner time. Enjoy and bon appétit!
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)
- 8 endives (aka Belgian endives, chicory)
- 4 slices of ham
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 4 Tbsp of flour
- 4 cups of milk
- About 1/2 cup shredded gruyère – or enough to sprinkle over the endives
- Salt & pepper
- Cut the bottom of each endive and some of the core — this will help to ensure that your dish is not too bitter. Insert the point of a paring knife next to the core. Rotate the knife around the core to remove part of it from the inside (it will look like a cone when you remove the core) — but don’t go to deep otherwise the leaves will fall apart.
- Boil water, add a few pinches of salt and add the endives when the water is boiling. Cook endives for about 20 minutes.
- Drain endives and with a fork, slightly press them to remove excess water — this way, they will be less watery when you bake them. This is an important step otherwise your gratin will be too runny and it will also change the texture of your bechamel sauce. Alternatively, you can also dry them in a clean cloth.
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
- Butter a baking dish. Inside the dish, roll 2 endives inside a slice of ham (double serving of veggies!) and line them nicely in your baking dish.
- Now, we need to prepare the bechamel sauce. Melt butter in a medium pot. With a whisk or wooden spoon, mix in your flour and cook flour stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add in the cold milk. Whisk for 5-10 minutes or until desired thickness – we like it thick so we take the full 10 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste. For more step by step instructions on how to make a bechamel sauce, check Art of the Home easy recipe for bechamel sauce.
- Pour bechamel sauce on top of endives and ham. Sprinkle with gruyère. Bake your endive gratin in a pre-heated oven until golden brown for about 20-30 minutes – it won’t need much since your endives have already been blanched for 20 minutes beforehand. If the gratin is not colored enough to your taste, during the last few minutes of baking, set the broiler on high but keep a close eye, it gets dark quickly. Enjoy!
- Serve hot.
A FEW SUGGESTIONS
- Lumps in your bechamel sauce? If you start to get lumps, remove the pot from the heat and quickly work it to remove lumps.
- Bitterness: that’s just how endives are but by removing some of the core or adding a Tbsp of sugar to the boiling water, you will be able to remove some of the bitterness. And endives are much less bitter nowadays than they use to be so this step is not always necessary actually – and a touch (small) of bitterness is just part of this classic!
Art of the Home Menu du Jour
Starter – Entrée
Main Course – Plat
Endive with Ham Gratin – Endives au Jambon
Dessert – Dessert