Chicory or Belgian endives in ham gratin is a traditional Belgian dish. We Belgians love chicory, cooked or raw in a salad, we eat lots of it. Because chicory is a fairly bitter vegetable not many kids go crazy for it. Neither did my husband when he was a kid. So as mums sometimes do, his was flexible about it and made some rolls with leek instead of chicory.
I haven’t made many efforts yet to promote chicory for the kids, but I have tried leek with not much success unfortunately. Whenever I have a vegetable like that, I do keep preparing it, but I try to prepare it in another way. Lack of love for leek; that is why I made this leek in ham gratin. I used to eat my chicory in ham because I loved the cheese sauce and the ham so much. It was all about the packaging did it for me!
If you do like a little bit bitter, do have a go at the chicory, it is lovely! You can either braise it in butter or steam it, just as I did with the leek. When ready, it is best to cut out the hard bit in the middle. Therefore, cut it open and cut out the core. Then close the chicory again and roll it in the ham. If you have thick stalks of chicory it is best to use just half of the stalk in one roll.
Otherwise, have them with leek…