Sunday, May 31, 2009

ENDIVE & BRUSSELS SPROUTS GRATIN with JAMBON (aka, Ham)

One of my favorite local restaurants is a Swiss-French little gem which I am not going to name because it's hard enough to get into as it is -- but they have this endive gratin appetizer that is just the bee's knees. I love the bitter of the endive along with the sweetness of the b├ęchamel and the saltiness of the parmesan. So the other day when I was at the grocery and I spotted the endive, I thought immediately of the gratin. Even the thought of it made me start to drool, so although I had no recipe, I was pretty  sure I could make some sort of copycat that would at least be similar. I picked up a couple of the the endives, then I saw these super young, small brussels sprouts and thought, hmmmm.... I bet the sweetness of those would go really well in the gratin? 

Oh. My. Gosh.

The rest is yummy history.    

The basic recipe starts with equal parts of endive, which I thickly sliced and sauteed for about 1 minute in some butter along with a little bit of chopped ham, and brussels sprouts, which I steamed. I made just enough of a thin bechamel to nicely coat the brussels sprouts, endive & ham. You don't want it soupy because there is nothing to really soak it up, so you just want it nicely dressed. I put the mixture in a baking dish and then grated a very generous portion of fresh parmesan and it baked in a 400 degree oven just until bubbly and the cheese was starting to brown nicely. It made a great side to our Friday night NY strip steak! 

Go ahead - I know you want to. Click on the picture to supersize it.