Belgian endive, individually wrapped with thin slices of prosciutto, napped with a rich béchamel sauce, and then topped with grated Gruyere cheese is one of my favorite main dishes at any time of year.
- 5 large Belgian endive (or 10 small Belgian endive)
- 5-6 thin slices prosciutto
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups milk
- 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
- Preheat an oven to 375º F.
- Rub a 9” x 13” baking dish with the one teaspoon of butter. Cut a wedge from the bottom of each endive to remove the core. If large, cut in half.
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, melt the butter. When it foams remove from the heat and whisk in the flour to make a thick paste or roux. Return to the heat, and slowly add the milk, whisking. Add the salt and cayenne. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thick and the taste of flour has gone, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt if needed. Stir in half the cheese.
- Arrange the endive snugly in the baking dish in a single layer. Wrap with prosciutto. Pour the sauce over them. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden, the edges bubbling, and the endive tender, about 25 minutes. Remove and serve hot, scooped from the baking dish.