French in a Flash: Baked Endive Gratins with Ham and Cheese

RECIPE: Baked Endive Gratin
Endive Gratins

Endive Gratins

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

I recently had to explain to a will-not-be-named member of my family that endives are contraband in the States.  Or, I should say, packing raw French endives in your suitcase to consume in the States would be…yeah, illegal.

That is how obsessed we are with endives.  Bitter, crunchy, great in salad.  Sure.  But where it’s really at is in the cooked endive, still crunchy, but slightly tender.  Each leaf still holding its own, but collapsing onto the one beneath it like exhausted babushka dolls.  Still bitter, but just ever-so-slightly more mellow.  It’s like you took the muscle man that is endive and gave him that spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.  Then, they become so delicious, and so unusual, and delicate, and different.  They are so special–worth smuggling, I think.

Endive gratin is a really traditional dish, and I like that you have the rich voluptuousness of a gratin, and the crisp, bitter verdure of the vegetable.  Endive halves are wrapped in ham, then smothered in a simple bechamel, and covered with Gruyere cheese.  Then, they’re baked until the endive is soft and mellow, and the cheese is bubbly and gooey.  A small green salad with a little lemon juice and fleur de sel and you’re in business.  Almost worth jail time.

Baked Endive Gratin
serves 2


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup milk

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 endives, halved

  • 4 thinly slices Black Forest ham

  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyère


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a small saucepot, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk, and cook 5 minutes over medium heat, whisking often.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wrap each endive in ham.  Pour half the béchamel sauce on the bottom of a baking dish.  Place the endives in the dish, and cover with the remaining sauce.  Top with the cheese, and cover the dish with foil.  Bake 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake another 30 minutes.

print this recipe
print this post
Categories: 60 Minutes, Eat, French in a Flash, Main Courses, Recipes, Series, Sides, Vegetables

5 Responses to French in a Flash: Baked Endive Gratins with Ham and Cheese

  1. DaveinVA says:

    Wow, that sounds outstanding!

  2. Hi!

    I’m going on 70 years-old and have never tasted endive! This recipe looks like a winner. I’m a fairly inexperienced cook, but am learning fast. Being retired, I’ve shared quite a few of the cooking chores with my wife. Right now, I’d say about half of my attempts at new recipes turn out well. I hope this one works for us.

    Thanks for the guidance!

    • Kerry says:

      Hi! Endive is two totally different things — cooked, it’s mellow and soft; raw, it’s bitter and crunchy. I love them both! I have to say, if this blog has inspired you to try it, I am so happy. How did you like it? Good luck with the cooking! Practice makes (nearer to) perfect.

  3. Pingback: Belgian Endive Gratin | Your's truly

  4. Stephen Brovender says:

    Slowly braise the endives in butter and lemon juice first and after removing the liquid from the “chicon” proceed with the ham wrap, place in a buttered baking dish, cover with the Gruyere cheese sauce, sprinkle some grated Gruyere and top with unseasoned bread crumbs and into the oven. Bake 20 minutes and when bubbling and the top is golden, this treat, preceded by a soup and followed by fruit is a Belgian dinner.