French cooking North Pas-de-Calais / Hauts de France

Tasty and simple: the recipe for endives with ham

This is a recipe that comes from the North where we like to grow endives. A very simple dish, tasty if it is well done, and not expensive: endives with ham. Discover here the easy recipe of Monsieur de France...


A dish from the north 

Endive with ham comes from the "ch'nord" and even more widely from a European area that includes Belgium, the Netherlands and part of Germany. It is in these regions that endive was grown in the past, especially in cellars since it grows without sunlight (which makes it white). It is a very cheap dish since you need a little cheese, for the béchamel you only need milk, flour and butter, and endives are not very expensive. Endive is best when freshly harvested, from April to October. They can also be replaced by leeks. 


The recipe for endives with ham

The ingredients 

recipe for 4 people 

  • 8 endives
  • 8 slices of white ham (you can also try smoked ham which is not bad).
  • 1.5 liters of broth (vegetable broth is the best or cube)
  • 200g gruyere or ementhal or grated parmesan cheese. 
  • 20g of butter (to cook the endives)
  • 55g of semi-salted butter
  • 55g of flour
  • 75cl of whole milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 25cl of cream 
  • 8 thin slices of white ham
  • 200g grated parmesan cheese
  • a little sugar
  • salt and pepper

(some add a touch of nutmeg to the béchamel).

Endives with ham. Photo chosen by Shutterstock

Endives with ham. Photo chosen by Shutterstock


The process

First preheat the oven to 190 degrees and prepare your instruments: a sauté pan to cook the endives, a dish to receive them, two small pots for the béchamel. 


Prepare the endives 


  1. Take your 8 endives and remove the heart (the base) to make a knife cut. Don't cut too high though.
  2. Put the 20 grams of butter in the frying pan and melt it
  3. Add the endives and brown them
  4. Add a little sugar (a good pinch) to make them caramelize and make them less acidic
  5. Add a little salt 
  6. Brown them well 
  7. Add the vegetable stock (1.5 L)

The endives are cooked when you can pierce them with a knife easily. It should not stick. 


Prepare the béchamel sauce 

What to prepare a good béchamel: photo chosen by Shutterstock
What to prepare a good béchamel: photo chosen by Shutterstock

  1. In a saucepan heat the milk
  2. In another saucepan, melt the 55 grams of butter
  3. Add the flour to the butter
  4. mix well and let it cook for a few minutes 
  5. Add the milk (slowly is better, it will avoid lumps). 
  6. Cook all this together for 5 big minutes (it will thicken 
  7. You have obtained a béchamel, you are going to make a mornay
  8. Off the heat add the egg yolk and mix (fast enough that the egg mixes without cooking right away).
  9. Add half of the cheese (100 grams) you are making a mornay sauce
  10. Add a little salt, a little pepper and mix 

You can add a little nutmeg to give it some taste.


Dress the dish: 


  1. Take the endives out of the broth 
  2. Drain them and blot them with paper towels (this prevents them from releasing too much water during cooking).
  3. Wrap the endives in the ham slices 
  4. Pour the béchamel sauce over the endives wrapped in the ham 
  5. Sprinkle with the remaining 100 grams of cheese 
  6. Bake at 190°C for 15 minutes or Thermostat 7 for 20 minutes

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Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme Prod'homme

Jérôme is "monsieur de France" the author of this site.