This is a recipe from the French region Champagne-Ardenne. I bought a cookbook in my french Supermarket a while ago with 1001 recipes from all of the countries regions.
Endive or Chicoree as it is called here is a perfect winter vegetable or salad. It is a bit bitter and you can eat it raw as a salad or prepare cooked it as a vegetable. In the region where I live, there are several farmers who grow this in large dark sheds and you can it buy there fresh from the producer. It can´t get any better.
This is an easy recipe and you can prepare it as a starter for a larger group of people or as a full meal for 2.
35 g butter and some for the baking dish
35 g flour
500 ml milk
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
fresh ground nutmeg
60 g grated mozarella cheese
400 g endive (2 equal size ones)
8 slices of smoked raw ham (from die Ardenne region)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chives
Prepare the sauce bechamel first:
Melt butter and add the flour and a bit after ab other add the milk, so you wont get lumps.
Add a bit of lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let it cook on low flame for 12 minutes and then add 2/3 of the cheese to melt.
In a pot in salted boiling water with added lemon juice blanche the endive for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven 200 C.
Use an ovenproof dish and butter it. Fill in the bechamel sauce.
Cut the endive lengthwise and roll every half into 2 slices of ham and place it into the sauce.
Get the rest of the cheese on top and bake it 200 C for 20 minutes.
Serve it with Baguette to mop up the rich cheesy sauce.