Well lookie here … another recipe fresh off the heels of the ratatouille. I should mention that I kind of have something in the works to split my blog into two parts so that those who are just interested in the recipes can follow one feed, and those who have no interest whatsoever can completely ignore them. How’s that for considerate?
I know, I know. I do try.
But it’s been on my mind to do at least one endive recipe with all the enticing crispy endives I see floating around in the stores. And so le voila!
It’s a white type of chicory salad that has a lovely bitter taste, and which is delicious when prepared with special care. Actually, the endive is related to the daisy family so you can pluck its leaves to discern whether he loves me, he loves me not.
Start some water boiling in a large pot and preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.
Now it’s time to start the béchamel sauce. Put 2 ½ cups of milk in a small saucepan. Add ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. (Did you know that the French almost always put nutmeg in quiches? And mashed potatoes? And sauces like béchamel?)
Put the onions in the milk and simmer on very low heat.
You can see here it’s starting to simmer and rise. Strain out the onion etc, and the milk scum. (Sorry I said the word scum. That’s gross. But it’s even grosser to leave the scum in the milk).
Two words about this sauce. First of all, if you’re in a pinch or feeling lazy, you can just pour regular milk slowly into the butter-flour mix as shown and then throw in the nutmeg, salt and pepper at the last minute. It’s still good without the onion-clove-bayleaf.
Second thing. If you’re making this gluten free, don’t use potato or corn or even rice flour. Either it will be too runny, or have lumps or it will be too gritty. Use amaranth, chick pea or chestnut flour. That should give you a nice consistency.
Of course I was very low on gluten free flours when I made this, and even knowing what I know, I used potato and corn flour to make it. What a lumpy mess (which you might notice in the end result of my finished endives).
So I made a separate batch of béchamel sauce today using amaranth flour, just to show you that a perfect gluten-free béchamel could be done. But honestly I could not think of foisting endives on my kids again, having already made it twice in the past two weeks. And thus my lumpy béchamel stands.
I’m ruined. Utterly ruined, I tell you.
Vegetable-based and cheese-covered. What’s not to love?!
To be honest, I’m not sure this dish will be a huge success with the kids, although you just never know until you try. And … it’s a bit risky to serve to guests – you know, being that it’s slices of ham wrapped around boiled salad and all. It also might be a bit much for you and your spouse to tackle just between the two you of you if you don’t want to be eating leftovers for days …
So, actually, never mind.
- 6 large endives
- 12 slices ham
- Béchamel Sauce as follows:
- 2.5 c milk
- ½ onion
- ¼ t nutmeg
- ⅛ t white pepper
- ½ t salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 4T butter (56 grams)
- 4T flour
- grated swiss - around 1 cup-full
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C
- Boil the endives
- Drain them
- Cut the ends off, then slice them lengthwise into 2-4 parts
- Squeeze the water out of the endive portions
- Wrap each one in a half slice of ham.
- Place them in rows in a 9x13" pan.
- For the sauce, cut 2 quarters of an onion.
- Pin the bay leaves to the onion with the cloves.
- Place them in a saucepan with the milk.
- Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and simmer on low.
- Before the milk boils and rises, skim the top off the milk mixture.
- Melt the flour and butter in a pan and pour the milk in slowly, stirring all the while.
- The béchamel should be lump-free by the time all the milk is added.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the rolled endives.
- Sprinkle grated Swiss over that.
- Bake 30 minutes or until all the cheese is browned and melted.