This seems like an odd recipe to post in the middle of a brutal summer but we’ve been enjoying some unseasonable cool temperatures for a few days so I whipped out this family favorite. Belgian endives, part of the chicory family, are a cool weather vegetable so this dish was always served during cold days where the steaming hot endives, melt-y cheese, and sweet ham would warm you right up. Finding decently sized endives (six or seven inches) has proven to be a challenge in the US so I frequently resort to buying small ones and doubling them up. Endives can be bitter so there are a few tricks for boiling them:
- Always remove the core from the bottom; it is especially bitter.
- Add a pinch of sugar into the boiling water.
- Select endives with as little color as possible; the white is less bitter.
- Reheats very nicely.
- You can add a bechemel sauce to make it richer
- The endives give off a lot of water so when you’re draining them, try to smoosh out as much water as possible without crushing them.
- Don’t worry about any detached leaves; just plop them in with a whole endive.
- The dish doesn’t need a side but if using a white sauce, a salad with a lemon vinaigrette can cut through the richness.
SHARING IS CARING!