Chicory and ham gratin

Chicory and ham gratin

By
From
Slow
Serves
4
Photographer
Tara Fisher

I learnt this in a little French bistro in Paris, the kind of place with cheap, tasty food and lots of locals. I go there every time I’m in town and eat this dish with grilled chicken or beef – I love it! Following a quick tour around the kitchen and a masterclass from the French grandmother who cooks it, here it is.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
75g butter
50g plain flour
500ml milk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
200g gruyere or emmental cheese, grated
4 large heads chicory
8 slices cooked ham
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Melt 50g of the butter in a heavy-based pan. Once it’s bubbling slightly, add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Then, change the spoon for a whisk and add the milk a little at a time, whisking well to stop lumps forming, until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer the sauce gently for 4 minutes, then add the mustard and half the cheese, and season well with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut the chicory in half lengthways and season it with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the remaining butter. When it bubbles, add the chicory cut-side down and fry for 1 minute, until just coloured. Remove from the pan and wrap each chicory half in a slice of ham, then place them in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the cheese sauce, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese and return to the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot and bubbling.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
slow cooking
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