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Chicons au gratin

As many of you who read this blog regularly know, one of my favourite things to do is try to recreate dishes I discover on my travels once I am home.  Today in my third post for Liberté, I’m recreating a classic Belgian dish – Chicons au gratin – basically endives wrapped in ham, slathered in a rich Mornay sauce (béchamel with Gruyère cheese) and baked until crispy on top.  When I was 17, I spent a year in Brussels as an exchange student and one of my host mothers made a rocking version of this. It became a firm favourite and even now when I go back to visit, and if endives are in season, she makes it for me.  It can be a fairly rich dish but I lightened it up by using Liberté’s Plain Greek Yogurt o% in the sauce. Result?  A lighter Mornay sauce that doesn’t taste light! It bakes up beautifully!

See?

In Brussels, I ate a LOT of this dish. It wasn’t, shall we say, the best for my figure. Well, that and the chocolate and the beer.  So I was ecstatic to taste this made with a Greek yoghurt sauce. It’s so good you wouldn’t even realise the recipe was “light”. (Well, light-er!)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chicons au gratin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A classic Belgian dish - chicons au gratin (endive gratin) lightened up with a Greek yogurt Mornay sauce.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 2 as a main course
Ingredients
  • (for the endives)
  • 6 small endives
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • (for the Mornay sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk (I used 1%)
  • ½ cup Liberté Plain Greek Yogurt 0%
  • ½ cup Gruyère cheese
  • (to assemble)
  • 6 slices ham
  • ¼ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. (for the endives)
  3. Remove the base of the endives and any loose outer leaves.
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the endives.
  5. Sauté endives over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they start to brown.
  6. Add the garlic and sugar and continue to cook until the endives start to caramelize slightly.
  7. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
  8. (for the Mornay sauce)
  9. Heat the butter over medium heat in a decent-sized saucepan.
  10. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes (it should not get brown).
  11. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
  12. Remove from the heat and add in the yoghurt. Whisk until smooth.
  13. Add the grated cheese and continue to whisk until cheese is melted into the mixture. Set aside.
  14. (to assemble)
  15. Grease an ovenproof dish.
  16. Roll the sautéed endives in a slice of ham and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
  17. Pour over the Mornay sauce, covering the endives completely.
  18. Bake at 425˚F for 25 minutes.
  19. Now turn off the oven and heat the broiler on high.
  20. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top of the baking dish and broil until golden brown and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
  21. Enjoy with a green salad and fresh baguette.

 

For more fabulous recipes and to discover their Greek yogurt line, visit Liberté now.

 

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24 Responses to Chicons au gratin

  1. Yesim March 25, 2012 at 06:46 #

    It looks great.. especially i liked the mornay recipe, i was always cooking classic bechamel sauce, next time i ll try with yoghurt..

  2. Regula @ foodwise March 25, 2012 at 08:46 #

    nomnom looks delicious! This is one of my favourite Belgian dishes!
    We always eat it with mash potatoes but this is indeed a lighter option :)

  3. Jill Colonna March 25, 2012 at 09:39 #

    My French mother-in-law makes this a lot in winter and it’s one of my fav comfort dishes – plus a great way to eat your veg! Love how you’ve used the Greek yoghurt in this, Mardi.
    Absolutely in awe of that first photo with the spoon’s reflection. What a shot!

  4. FrenchtwistDC March 25, 2012 at 10:11 #

    so interesting using yogurt to lighten up the bechamel. I’ll definitely have to try. And I love that you used chicon instead of endive ;-)

  5. Paula March 25, 2012 at 10:47 #

    Another beautiful recipe Mardi.

  6. Kiri W. March 25, 2012 at 11:45 #

    I adoooore chicons au gratin! I would never have believed lightening it up was even an option, but this sounds fantastic. :) Well done!

  7. Geoff March 25, 2012 at 17:31 #

    It looks a really “warming” and appealing dish for a cold day. But, judging by the ingredients, it’s a once-a-week option if weight control is a problem.
    I can almost smell it.

  8. Guy et Francine March 26, 2012 at 13:28 #

    Est-ce que tu as liquidé tout le plat???!!!
    C’est ta soeur ici, qui passe 3 semaines en famille et dont le 1er plat au retour fut… des chicons au gratin…
    En tout cas, les photos sont très tentantes… A quand ton restaurant avec spécialités belges et européennes au menu ?!
    Ta prochaine recette belge: un plat à la bière belge! Bonne continuation…

  9. Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 26, 2012 at 22:56 #

    This dish look so hearty and delicious – and cheesy and yummy! Thanks for sharing :)

  10. Mr. Neil March 27, 2012 at 08:17 #

    Geoff, it was 26C when Mardi served this – defintiely not a cold day!

    I really enjoyed these, and would put myself firmly in the category of “this is light(er)?”. Rich sauce, nice ham, crispy endives.

    Paired with a crisp rose for a perfect summer meal. In March. :-)

  11. Jenny @ BAKE March 29, 2012 at 05:59 #

    These look gorgeous and your photos look beautiful! I love Belgian food, chips and mayo YUM!

  12. JC February 18, 2014 at 21:58 #

    This dish has been on my “to make” list forever. I finally made these delightful endives and am kicking myself for waiting so long. These are simply delicious. These little delicacies will be making multiple appearances on my table from now until forever. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of this deliciousness. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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