Serves 8 (Makes 2 gratins)
This cheesy casserole is a family favorite in France. Serve with slices of baguette or another crusty bread and a green salad. To trim the endives, gently scrape off any brown from the outer leaves with a knife, then make a cone-shaped cut at the base to remove the core.
STORE/SERVE: Allow fully cooked casseroles to cool, then wrap tightly in foil, and refrigerate up to two days or freeze up to three months. To reheat, bake, uncovered, 15 minutes at 350°F.
- 8 large heads Belgian endive, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 6 Tbs. butter or margarine
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups low-fat milk
- 1½ cups no-chicken broth, such as Imagine
- 1¼ cups grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese, divided
- ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 8 slices meatless ham, such as Yves Veggie Cuisine, halved
1. Bring large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add endive halves, and boil 15 minutes. Drain, then set on paper-towel-lined baking sheet to cool and continue draining.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two 9-inch square baking dishes with cooking spray.
3. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Whisk in milk and broth, and cook over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, whisking constantly. Stir in 1/4 cup grated cheese and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4. Wrap each endive half in 1 halved meatless ham slice, and place in prepared baking dishes. Pour sauce over wrapped endives in both dishes, spreading sauce over endives to coat evenly. Sprinkle each dish with 1/2 cup grated cheese.
5. Bake gratins 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until bubbly and deep golden brown on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
March 2014 p.71