Recipes

Belgian Endive with Black Forest Ham

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Nino Salvaggio
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Serves: 6

Belgian Endive (pronounced both as “en-dyv” or “ahn-deev”) and also called French Endive or Witloof, is a small, cylindrical head of pale, tightly packed leaves grown completely underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight. This process prevents the leaves from turning green and opening up (etiolation). Growing Belgian Endive is extensive manual work, as the plant has to be kept just below the dirt surface as it grows, only showing the very tip of the leaves. Its smooth, creamy white leaves may be served stuffed, baked, boiled, cut and cooked in a milk sauce, or simply cut raw. Slightly bitter, the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste; the harder inner part at the bottom needs to be cut out (cored) before cooking to prevent bitterness. This recipe can be served as a side dish, main course or appetizer. Enjoy!.

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Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. Salvaggio’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 Whole Belgian Endives, cored
  • 1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices Black Forest Ham
  • Chopped Parsley, to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan, lightly sauté the endives, remove them from the pan, and set aside.
  2. Add the red and green peppers to the oil, lightly sauté them, remove them from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add the flour to the oil and stir until lightly browned.
  4. Add the salt and pepper and blend in with a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add the cheeses and blend until the cheese melts.
  6. Stir in the sautéed red and green peppers.
  7. Place the sautéed Belgian Endives in an ovenproof casserole.
  8. Wrap each endive in a slice of Black Forest ham.
  9. Cover with cheese sauce and place in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and brown. You may brown it under the broiler for a minute or two if you wish.
  10. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

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