Endives gratinées au jambon de pays

Endive gratin with country ham

An easy winter dish that can be prepared in a matter of minutes.

For best results, grate the nutmeg yourself. Fresh nutmeg is incomparably superior in flavor to powdered nutmeg. If you don’t have a nutmeg grater (shown at right), use the parmesan-grating holes on your regular grater.

As for the ham, use a dry-cured version like jambon de Bayonne,  prosciutto or serrano.

2 Belgian endives
2-4 thin slices country ham (jambon de Bayonne, prosciutto, etc.)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 pound (100 g.) comté, gruyère or a similar cheese

2/3 cup (1.5 dl) heavy cream (crème fleurette)
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (350 F, 180 C).

Rinse the endives. Pare a thin slice away from the bottoms, being careful to keep the endives intact. Slice in half vertically.

Cut each slice of ham in half vertically. Wrap the ham slices around the endive halves.

Oil a baking dish. Place the ham-wrapped endives in the dish.

Grate the cheese. Place in a bowl. Add the cream and stir.

Spoon the cheese mixture over the endives. Grind on some black pepper, and grate a little fresh nutmeg over the dish. No need to add salt, as the cheese and ham are already salty.

Place in the oven and bake about 20 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and the endives are starting to brown. Serves 2.

This recipe is adapted from ‘Simplissime’ by J.-F. Mallet.

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