One of the best things about living in France is the food – and one of the worst parts about living in France is..the food. I just want to eat everything all the time! If I did, I’d turn into a little cheese-filled bubble of cholesterol, so I try to restrain myself. ~_~
However, seasonal produce here is very good so I have some veggie inspiration to draw from. Recently, I’ve found endives in the supermarket, which I’d never eaten before coming to Europe. And my favorite thing to make with them is endives au jambon. It’s very easy to make and it makes me feel kinda healthy…I’m eating a vegetable for dinner! 😀 Shh..each one is wrapped in ham, covered in beschamel and then baked with cheese on top….shhh, it’s healthy! I have the recipe and some pictures here, so you can be healthy too 😉
Endives Au Jambon
- 6 endives
- 20 g butter (1 tbsp I think)
- 2 rounded tablespoons of flour
- 250 ml milk (about 8.5 oz)
- 6 slices of ham (large enough to wrap around the endives and not too thin)
- cheese to sprinkle on top (I use emmental but gruyere or swiss would work too)
- chicken bouillon cube
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- salt, pepper, nutmeg
- In a pot big enough to hold all of the endives, add the chicken bouillon and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Bring to a boil
- Rinse the endives and cut off the bottom. I cut the ends off in a v-shape, to get rid of most of the bitter part inside.
- Let endives simmer for 25 minutes.
- Place endives in a strainer and when they are cool enough to handle squeeze as much water as you can out of them with a paper towel. (But be careful! You don’t want them to fall apart).
- For the beschamel:
- melt the butter and add the flour a little at a time until it’s smooth, keep whisking until it turns slightly golden
- add milk, a little at a time, while whisking
- keep whisking for about 5 minutes or so, until it is thick, smooth and creamy
- remove from heat and add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
- Wrap endives in ham, and place in a baking dish
- Pour beschamel over everything
- Cover with cheese and bake at 240 degrees C (400 Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes, or until you have a nice gratin on top
Btw: I hadn’t made beschamel in a while, and it started to get lumpy. You have to REALLY whisk a LOT to keep it smooth, and add the milk a little at a time. I also recommend using a small saucepan, because that way it’s easier to whisk everything evenly.
So that’s it. If you want something creamy and comforting but also want to make yourself feel better because you’re eating a vegetable, this is it! Dani, you should make it 😉