A classic French dish known in France as “Endives au Jambon”, this Belgian endive and Ham Gratin is a typical dish of Northern France and Belgium.

Gently soften endives cooked in a wine-water boil and then enrobe them into a slice of ham, covered with a delightful white cream, with lots of cheese. They are baked to perfection until bubbly.

Endive Ham Gratin out of the oven

It is a true delight for your taste buds as you can taste the bitter endives and the creamy cheese deliciousness.

One of my favorite dinners while growing up. I remember preparing this endive recipe when I was pretty young as it was, and still is, super easy to prepare.

Endives abound this time of year, and I could not pass up the opportunity to make this dish and share it with all of you.

In this Article

Why you will love this recipe

There are few easy ingredients – most of which are already in your pantry or refrigerator.

It can be prepared early in the day – even the night before, and put all the finishing touches and baking right when serving.

Excellent whole meal – Rich with cream and cheese, this makes for the perfect dinner.

It takes no time to make – within 30 minutes, dinner is on the table. Who does not like that?

The key ingredients of this dish are endives, bechamel sauce, ham, and cheese.

Belgian Endives

Belgian Endives, also called “chicons,” in the North of France and Belgium, is a star ingredient of the region’s cuisine. France is one of the biggest producers of endives in the world.

Their season goes from October to May. Fantastic vegetables as it offers so many ways to be prepared.

You can enjoy it raw in salads, where you can taste the freshness and crispiness of it.

It is also delicious cooked boiled, braised, or in a gratin where the taste softens and is mellow.

This endive and ham gratin is one of the most favorite ways to enjoy them in France.

Ham

If I were in France, I would use “Jambon de Paris,” which is recommended with this recipe.

A much leaner ham, unsmoked and very mild flavored, is sold cooked, sliced, and ready to be enjoyed. It is readily available in every grocery store and butcher shop.

However, it is less available or standard in the USA; thus, I replaced it with a high-quality sliced ham.

Remember that if you are not using “Jambon de Paris,” other hams are saltier; therefore, do not oversalt your cream.

Endive Ham Gratin close up once bake

Bechamel Sauce

Called one of the 5 French Mother Sauces. Creamy and light, bechamel sauce is the base of many dishes—a must-have in your repertoire of French cooking.

Used often in my cooking, such as Croque Monsieur, Cauliflower, and Goat cheese gratin, and even with my Lasagne al Forno.

Chef Tip:

I added cooking wine and water to create the sauce with this recipe. The richness of the wine adds a new layer of flavor, or as I like to call it, deliciousness.

Please do not skip this step, as you will regret it. The difference that it makes is incredible.

Cheese

I used Gruyere, but Emmenthal will work beautifully, too.

As you can see from my recipe, I have added the cheese over the sauce. This is my preference. Of course, you can add it to the bechamel sauce; after it has melted, you can cover your endives.

I leave that up to you, as both versions are pretty enjoyable. Just remember that cheese does contain fat, and once it is baked, it will melt.

Do not panic when you bring your dish out of the oven and some is on the top. It is normal.

Ingredients needed to make this classic French Endive and Ham Gratin

Belgian endives – Select all that are equal in size and have firm white leaves.

Ham – thick sliced ham with little to no fat showing.

White wine – A MUST!! It gives the endives as well as the sauce a great flavor.

Gruyere cheese – shredded, add more if you wish.

Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking or baking to control the amount of sodium. Salted butter not only adds too much salt to your dish, but it changes the flavor.

Whole milk – to create a rich bechamel cream, you must use whole milk; no substitutions as the result will not be the same.

Salt and Pepper – Seasoning. Taste before adding more salt.

Nutmeg – gives it that great flavor to your bechamel cream. A must, trust me.

Endive Ham Gratin ingredients

Equipment Needed

Please follow the link to access the product of your preference.

Saucepan with lid – for the endives

Small saucepan – to create the bechamel sauce

Whisk – The most accessible tool to create the sauce

Slotted spoon – to remove the endives from the wine water mixture

Gratin dish – for the final baking step

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02/18/2024 07:24 am GMT

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions on how to make this endive recipe

This recipe is relatively straightforward and will take no time to prepare.

Let’s start with the endives:

  • Remove the bottom hard core and any leaves that may have some bruising.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan, large enough to hold the endives, with water and the wine to a boil.
  • Add the endives, salt them, and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat once to a full boil and cook covered for 10 minutes. The endives will be soft.
  • Remove the endives with a slotted spoon.
Endive Ham Gratin - endives in a pan with wine and water

Chef Tips:

Squeeze all the juices out of your endives. Endives hold water and you do not want to have excess liquid when combined with your cream.

How to make bechamel cream:

  • Melt butter in a saucepan, add the flour, and vigorously stir. This will create a wonderful paste-like mixture. Let it cook for a minute, stirring constantly as you want the nuttiness of the butter to come out.
  • Add the wine water and milk, stir to dissolve the butter-flour paste, and start creating the sauce.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and continue stirring until a rich cream forms.
  • Bring to a boil, keep a keen eye over it as you do not want to spill.

Assembling and baking

Now that your sauce is ready and your endives are squeezed so no more juices come out, you are ready to put your dish together.

  • Place around each endive a slice of ham and place it on a buttured gratin dish.
Endive Ham Gratin endives wrapped in ham
  • Pour over the sauce to cover.
  • Distribute your Gruyere cheese all over it and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes or until the top is starting to brown.

As every oven is different and altitude has a lot to do with oven baking, make sure that it is bubbling and browning gently.

What is a gratin?

Any eggs, milk, or cream mixture baked in a shallow dish without any pastry shell is considered a gratin.

Variations

  • Add an egg yolk to the bechamel cream at the last minute to make a more decadent sauce.
  • Add the cheese to your bechamel, making it a Mornay sauce. Mix well and make sure all the cheese is melted before pouring it over the endives.
Endive Ham Gratin

Storing and reheating

You can prepare the bechamel sauce early on and return it to room temperature before adding it to the endives.

The endives can be cooked the night before and returned to room temperature. Once at room temperature, you can continue assembling it and baking it until the cheese is bubble and light golden.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Mornay sauce and Beschamel?

A Mornay sauce is a bechamel sauce with shredded or grated cheese added. Some variations use combinations such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, white cheddar, or Parmesan cheese. A Mornay sauce made with cheddar is used to make macaroni and cheese.

What is the difference between bechamel and white sauce?

Bechamel is usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and used as a base for other sauces or dishes. White sauce is a term used to describe a white-colored sauce, while bechamel sauce directly refers to the white sauce made from a roux, butter flour, and milk.

Is bechamel just a roux?

In its purest form, bechamel is composed of butter and flour cooked together, a mixture known as “roux”, with whole milk and a bit of seasoning. It is a creamy, silky sauce that can be used by itself or as a base for countless recipes.

Endive Ham Gratin

Endive and Ham Gratin

5 from 5 votes
Endive Ham Gratin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Gently soften endives in a wine water boil and then enrobe them into a slice of ham, covered with a delightful white cream, with lots of cheese.

Ingredients 

  • 6 large endive, all the same size and light outer leaves
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 slices of ham
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded

WHITE SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup endive water with wine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 6 grinds nutmeg, or 1/8 of a teaspoon dry

Instructions

  • Remove the hard end of the endives, making sure they stay intact. Remove any dark or damaged ends.
  • Place water and wine in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the endives, salt and bring back to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
    Endive Ham Gratin

FOR THE SAUCE

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour and mix well. Add the milk and the wine water, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
    Endive Ham Gratin - roux
  • Bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk until the sauce is smooth and bubbling. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
    Endive Ham Gratin bechamel sauce

ASSEMBLY & COOKING

  • Remove the endives from the water wine boil, save the liquid. Drain the endives and roll the ham around each.
    Endive Ham Gratin endives wrapped in ham
  • Preheat the oven at 375F.
  • Butter a gratin dish and place each ham-wrapped endive in the dish. Spread the sauce over the endives. Scatter the Gruyere cheese.
    Endive Ham Gratin woith grated cheese over it prior to going in the oven
  • Place in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.

Notes

Chef Tips:
  • Squeeze all the juices out of your endives. Endives hold water; you do not want excess liquid when combined with your cream.
  • I added cooking wine and water to create the sauce with this recipe. The richness of the wine adds a new layer of flavor, or as I like to call it, deliciousness.  Please do not skip this step, as you will regret it. The difference that it makes is incredible.
  • As every oven is different and altitude has a lot to do with oven baking, make sure that it is bubbling and browning gently.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 697mg | Potassium: 278mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 433IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 268mg | Iron: 1mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

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