Belgian endive gratin is a classic French dish. Endive and prosciutto (or ham) are covered in cream and topped with cheese and bread crumbs. It makes a wonderful cold-weather comfort dish.
If you’ve been limiting your endive game to crudité platters and cute appetizers, prepare to be astonished at how versatile endive can be. Wrapped in salty cured ham, topped with creamy cheese and crunchy breadcrumbs, and baked until bubbling and golden, this makes an impressive side or entrée, whether for weeknights or entertaining. And little-known fact: Belgian endive is actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. So, you know, this is health food.–Angie Zoobkoff
Belgian Endive Gratin
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 1 H, 10 M
- Serves 6
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 2 tablespoons butter (1 oz), plus more for the gratin dishes
- 3 or 4 slices day-old bread or lightly toasted fresh bread
- 9 small heads Belgian endive (about 1 lb)
- 1 quart store-bought or homemade chicken stock
- Fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper
- 18 thin slices prosciutto or jambon cru (dry-cured ham) (3 oz)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups finely grated Comté or Gruyère cheese
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- 2. Rub the smashed garlic over the bottom and sides of 6 individual gratin dishes or 1 large baking dish. Then butter the gratin dishes.
- 3. Tear the bread into pieces, place them in a blender or food processor, and pulse until coarsely ground, 15 to 30 seconds.
- 4. Cut each endive lengthwise in half, remove any tough or bruised outer leaves and trim the root ends but leaving the root intact. Place the endive, cut-side down, in a single layer in a large, deep sauté pan. Place over medium-high heat, pour in the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and braise, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a bare simmer, just until tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the endive to a plate and let cool. Reserve the stock used for braising the endive.
- 5. Once the endive is cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to remove the tough root ends, being careful not to separate the layered leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Wrap each endive half with a slice of prosciutto.
- 6. Spoon 1 tablespoon heavy cream into the bottom of each gratin dish or spoon 6 tablespoons in the bottom of a single baking dish. Place 3 endive halves, cut-side down, in each gratin dish or place all the endive halves in the single baking dish. Drizzle 1 tablespoon reserved chicken stock into each gratin dish or pour 6 tablespoons stock into the large baking dish. Reserve the remaining stock for another use, such as making soup. Cut the butter into small pieces and sprinkle over the gratin dishes and then drizzle the endive with the remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Divide the cheese among the gratin dishes.
- 7. Place the gratin dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the gratin dishes and bake until the gratins are bubbling and the bread crumbs are nicely browned, about 5 minutes more. Serve immediately.