Endives (also called chicory) are very popular in France and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked. They can be quite bitter so don’t tend to go down well with children, which means the French have come up with various dishes to get their kids to eat their endives!
One such recipe is Endives au gratin, which also happens to be a dish that was requested by one of our blog readers, John. If you have any recipes that you would like to see on Franglaise Cooking do let us know, as we’re always keen to showcase your favourite dishes.
If you want to make this recipe vegetarian you can simply remove the ham. Other variations to this dish include adding some lemon juice or button mushrooms.
- Endives - 4
- Ham - 4 slices (cured & cooked)
- Strong white flour - 40g
- Milk - 500ml
- Butter - 30g
- Nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
- Cook the endives in a pressure cooker for 10 mn or boil them for 20 mn
- Prepare a béchamel with the butter, the flour and the milk and let it cook gently for 10 mn
- Roll each endive in a slice of ham
- Season the béchamel with salt, pepper and nutmeg
- Put the endives with the ham in a roasting tray and cover with the béchamel and the grated cheese
- Grill the dish for 10 mn
Put the pressure cooker on a high heat with 2 cm of water in the bottom and a good pinch of salt, or put a saucepan of water, with a pinch of salt, on to boil. Get all your ingredients ready.
Remove the outer leaves of the endives which tend to look a bit brown and old. Then wash the endives well. Place them in the pressure cooker basket and then put the basket in the pressure cooker above the water at the bottom. Close the pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes once the steam has started to escape. Alternatively you can cook your endives by boiling them in a saucepan with boiling water for around 20 minutes.
While the endives are cooking you can prepare your béchamel sauce. First you have to make a roux sauce, to do this melt half of the butter in a medium size saucepan on a medium heat. Then add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon or a whisk. A whisk is better to avoid lumps. Cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes until it gets a little brown.
Add the milk slowly whilst carefully stirring the mix. You can then begin to pour the milk faster and faster. If you get any lumps stop adding the milk and stir the sauce more until the lumps go. It will quickly become very liquidy. But don't worry it will thicken up. Cook it on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Put your grill on at full whack.
The endives should be cooked by now while the béchamel is thickening up. On a chopping board put a slice of ham and place an endive in the middle of it. Roll the ham around the endive and place it in your roasting tray. Repeat for all your endives. My slices of ham were quite big so I cut them in half.
When your béchamel is thick and creamy switch the heat off. Add the other half of the butter and season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Stir well one last time.
Cover the endives and the ham in the roasting tray with the béchamel. Spread the grated cheese evenly on top.
Put the dish under the grill and grill it for 10 minutes.
Don't forget, if you like this recipe please share it! We'd love it if you came back and shared your comments, thoughts, and rating on this dish once you've cooked it. Bon appétit!