Gratin of Endive and Ham

April 6th, 2010

We have gone from winter to summer with nary a moment to enjoy spring. The weather has been extremely warm in the North Carolina mountains. People are cruising the lake in their boats, children are swimming, and the doors and windows are wide open. If it weren’t for the blooming trees and the pollen covering everything, I would think it was the month of August. We will spend the day today painting the Adirondack chairs and planting geraniums in the window boxes on the deck. Spring is supposed to return with cooler temperatures at the end of the week, but we are enjoying this opportunity to put things back in order for the summer.

If you have leftover ham from Easter this is a great casserole to assemble early in the day and have ready to put in the oven at dinner time. Belgian endive is not a vegetable that I cook often. I first became interested in it when I saw a recipe for a caramelized endive tatin on Lucy’s Kitchen Notebook blog. I have had Belgian endive raw in salads and it’s leaves used as scoops for various appetizers and have always found it to be bitter. But when it is braised it becomes mild with none of the unctious taste I usually associate with it. Lucy’s caramelized endive is a wonderful recipe. I decided to experiment further with it. Because of the torpedo shape of Belgian endive, it lends itself to being wrapped. Enclosed in ham slices, the braised bundles can be placed in a casserole, covered with a white sauce and sprinkled with cheese and breadcrumbs and baked to creamy perfection. If you do not have leftover ham, you can use good quality ham slices from the deli. This is a great casserole to have ready to bake after a busy day working outside in the yard or garden.

GRATIN OF ENDIVE AND HAM (Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe)

1 14 ounce can chicken broth
6 small heads of Belgian endive

6 thin ham slices
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup Swiss cheese
1 cup Panko crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Bring broth to simmer in heavy medium skillet over medium high heat. Add endive and simmer uncovered until tender, turning occasionally, about 12 minutes. Drain thoroughly. place endive on paper towels and cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a baking dish. Roll each endive in ham slice to enclose. Arrange rolls in single layer in prepared dish. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute. Add milk, cream, mustard, and nutmeg; bring to boil, whisking constantly. Boil sauce 1 minute; season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over rolls. Sprinkle cheese evenly over casserole. Heat olive oil in small skillet. Add panko crumbs and toss to combine and brown lightly. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake until sauce is bubbling all over and top is beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.

9 responses to “Gratin of Endive and Ham”

  1. Hi Penny!
    I have been in France the last three weeks and didn’t realize you were back! Isn’t this weather wonderful? When we were in France it was spring like in the 50’s and some rain and sun. We arrived back home Easter evening and to 88 degree weather!

  2. That looks delicious, and I just happen to have leftover Easter ham 🙂

    Thanks Penny!

  3. So glad you are having great weather… That is always the way I think your lake cottage should be.

    I am making your red pepper pasta primavera tonight… Funny how many of my “need to cook” recipes come from you.

    Like this one

  4. That sounds very yummy. I will have to try that soon. We’re supposed to get some more rain this coming weekend. Looks like the perfect dish for a chilly evening.


  5. Mary says:

    This is a fabulous recipe, Penny. I’ve never thought to do this. This is going on my must-try list. I hope you are enjoying what sounds to be glorious weather. Blessings…Mary

  6. Kimmy says:

    Yummyyyyyyyyyyy ! My mum makes this a lot, as we are belgium, this a big dish here at home 🙂
    Yours looks absoluty delicioussssssss.

  7. Thanks for you continued prayers for the “Roses”. I’ll let their families know. They are very appreciative of all who are so concerned about their sweet little girls.


  8. racheld says:

    Oh, My Goodness!

    I passed you on Mona’s blog Whspr Sweetly, on the way down to Lawn Tea to see if my picture had posted, and this sounded too good to miss. And it sounds even better all written out—I can just taste that rich casserole, all those flavors mingling around the perfectly-braised bundles.

    I haven’t braised endive in a while (by Lucy’s recipe, of course), and I can’t wait to get some and make this.


  9. Katy ~ says:

    I love endive, what a fabulous way to present it. This looks like a keeper,Penny. Thanks for sharing this one so that we may all enjoy.

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