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I am working my way through the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. I’m on a quest to try each and every one of these foods.
Some of the foods (dishes) are very familiar, and some are new to me. This Belgian classic, Endives With Ham and Mornay Sauce, or Endive au Jambon Sauce Mornay, is both new to me, and a revelation to me!
I learned that Americans call this vegetable, which is quite bitter, an endive. Europeans call it chicory. As you can see, the color of the endive is a pale green at the tip but mostly white. When farmers grow the endives, they grow them underground, indoors, or covered up, to prevent sunlight from turning the leaves green, and to preserve the creamy white color of the vegetable.
Previously, I had only ever heard of chicory as an additive to coffee. For example, the very famous Cafe du Monde, in New Orleans, has delicious coffee with chicory in it. Long story short, my understanding is that chicory root was first added to coffee by the French during the Napoleonic blockade of 1808 which resulted in a coffee shortage. The chicory was added to help make the coffee “stretch” and later this practice continued in the French colony of Louisiana. Huffington Post’s great article has the whole scoop and additional details about why chicory is added to coffee.
I’m so happy to learn about how this vegetable has been used, and now know that the chicory, or endive, can be cooked up in a variety of ways. One of the best preparations must be this Endive au Jambon Sauce Mornay.
Endive au Jambon Sauce Mornay
Endives With Ham and Mornay Sauce is delicious, provided you don’t mind the bitter taste of the endive. In this dish, the endive is baked in a hot oven under parchment until tender. Then it is wrapped in a slice of delicious ham, and a mornay sauce is poured over the wrapped endives. This dish is finished off by baking in a hot oven, until the mornay sauce is bubbling and browned on top.
The result? A taste sensation! Bitter, salty, cheesy goodness!
What is Mornay Sauce?
I had never made mornay sauce before, so when I found out that mornay is a bechamel sauce with Gruyere added I was over the moon! Gruyere is one of my FAVORITE cheeses, so now I’ll be putting mornay on everything! 🙂
I will mention here that bechamel, which is the base for the mornay sauce, is a white sauce simply made of flour, milk and butter. Bechamel is used widely in French cooking, and I see it is referred to often as one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine.
How To Prepare Endive With Ham and Mornay Sauce
I am very fortunate to have been given the ok by awesome Belgian food blogger June d’Arville to share her recipe for Chicory Rolls With Ham and Cheese (Witloofrolletjes). Her recipe is AMAZING! I did end up baking the chicory/endive instead of braising them until they are tender, but either method works well.
I cooked 3 endives. If you would like to bake them, simply cut them in half to split them and then season with salt and pepper. Divide 2 tbsp of butter and place on top of the endives. Cover with parchment paper, and then bake in a 375 degree oven for around 30 minutes or until the endives are tender. Then prepare your mornay sauce according to June d’Arville’s recipe Chicory Rolls With Ham and Cheese (Witloofrolletjes) The sauce in the recipe is actually bechamel, but you can make it mornay by adding the gruyere to the sauce.
We served these with some crusty bread, and a side salad, which made for a super delicious meal. I look forward to making this again soon!
I’m so grateful to June d’Arville for allowing me to use her recipe! I came across her on Instagram, and again when researching the Endive With Jam and Mornay Sauce dish. She has an awesome website www.junedarville.com, and you can find her amazing photography and beautiful feed on Instagram @june.d.arville. Please follow her and be inspired!
1,000 Foods to Eat Project
Please follow along with me on this quest to try the 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, from the book by Mimi Sheraton! Join me in this journey and discover new foods, experiences, and cuisines which I hope will add inspiration, fun, and joy to your life! For a list of the foods tried so far visit the 1,000 Foods to Eat Project page.
The Endive au Jambon Sauce Mornay is #22 on my list of foods to try. 22 down, 978 to go!
If you’d like to follow along and be a part of the 1,000 Foods Project, please sign up to get the latest recipes and inspiration for you to expand your food comfort zone! It’s an incredible journey, please join me by signing up here. 🙂
I hope you will enjoy this delicious Endive au Jambon Sauce Mornay, and would love to read your comments or suggestions!
Endives With Ham and Mornay Sauce
- 3 Belgian endives
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 6 slices ham
Bechamel/Mornay Sauce (Courtesy of June d'Arville)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 handfuls grated cheese I used Gruyere
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse your endives. Split lengthwise, and place in a baking dish lined with foil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide 2 tbsp of butter, and place a dab of butter on each piece of endive. Cover with parchment paper, and then bake for around 30 minutes or until tender.
- Once tender, wrap each endive with a slice of ham.
- Prepare the bechamel/mornay sauce (recipe courtesy of June d'Arville). Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Then add the flour and whisk. Let the mixture cook for a minute. Stir regularly. Gradually add the milk and whisk constantly over medium heat. The bechamel sauce will gradually thicken. Season it with a little pepper, salt and nutmeg when you’ve added all the milk. Then add the egg yolk and stir. You should end up with a pretty runny but glossy sauce. I also add a few drops of worcester sauce (optional). PLEASE NOTE TO MAKE THIS SAUCE MORNAY, ADD THE GRUYERE AT THIS TIME. Pour the bechamel or mornay sauce (if you added gruyere) on top of the chicory rolls in the baking dish.
- If you did not add Gruyere to the bechamel sauce, you can add your cheese of choice on top of the bechamel sauce. Bake the endive/chicory rolls in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 12 minutes until the cheese crust is golden. Remove the dish from the oven. Divide the rolls over plates and serve.