Endives au gratin

Baked endive gratin on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis is a sponsored post of the best kind: Mama Earth is a company I have using for a number of years so I’m thrilled to be partnering with them over the next couple of months to highlight different aspects of their local/ organic food delivery service.

When I saw (Belgian) endives over on Mama Earth Organics last week, I snapped them up. I love me some bitter leafy veggies (radicchio is also a favourite) and Belgian endives are a particular fave.  I lived in Belgium for a year as an exchange student when I was 17 and this is where I was first introduced to “chicons” as they are known there. I was lucky enough to have a host mother who prepared lunch for me and my host sisters every day and this was one of her specialties. Never mind that at 17 I’d never heard of, let alone eaten chicons/ endives, this was a dish with some kind of creamy cheese sauce and some ham – I was all in.

It’s not a difficult dish to prepare but there are a few different elements. You could prep both the endives and Mornay sauce (Béchamel with cheese, typically Gruyère) in advance and just assemble and bake on the night you want to eat. It’s also a great dish reheated – leftovers make an excellent “not sad” desk lunch! I’ve made a lighter version of this dish before (replacing some of the milk in the Mornay sauce with Greek yoghurt – which works well) but this weekend with temperatures hovering in the -30˚C range, I wanted the real deal!

How to make endives au gratin

1. Braise your endives.

Braising endives on eatlivetravelwrite.com Adding sugar to braised endives on eatlivetravelwrite.comI do this in butter in a shallow pan, turning the endives often so they caramelise nicely on all sides. If you have larger endives, you can slice them in half.

Caramelised endives on eatlivetravelwrite.comI add a little sugar right at the end of the shallow pan-frying process just to really bring out the caramel.

2. Make your Mornay sauce.

Basically this is a béchamel sauce (flour/ butter/ milk) with cheese added at the end. Typically it’s gruyère but in the spirit of using what I have on hand, this version used a little grated cheddar…

Making mornay sauce on eatlivetravelwrite.com3. Wrap your endives in ham

… and set them snugly in a baking dish

Braised endives wrapped in ham on eatlivetravelwrite.com

4. Cover the ham-wrapped endives in the Mornay sauce…

Looks like a lot of sauce but this is how it’s meant to be!

Endives wrapped in ham smothered in Mornay sauce on eatlivetravelwrite.com5. Bake, add extra cheese and broil!

It really couldn’t be simpler!

Endive gratin on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Yield: 2-3

Endives au gratin

Endives Chicons au gratin on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Easy braised endives, wrapped in ham and smothered in cheesy Mornay sauce.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


For the endives:

  • 6 small endives (roughly 10-12 centimetres in length)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the Mornay sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese

To assemble:

  • 6 slices ham (large enough to wrap the endives in)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese


Prepare the endives

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Remove the base of the endives and any loose outer leaves.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the endives.
  4. Sauté endives over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until they start to brown.
  5. Add the sugar and continue to cook until the endives start to caramelize slightly.
  6. Remove from the pan and set aside.

For the Mornay sauce:

  1. Heat the butter over medium heat in medium pot.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes (it should not get brown).
  3. Whisk in the milk and continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
  4. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 cup grated cheese and continue to whisk until cheese is melted into the mixture. Set aside.

To assemble

  1. Grease a small baking dish (you want the endives to fit snugly into the dish).
  2. Wrap the sautéed endives in a slice of ham and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish.
  3. Pour over the Mornay sauce, covering the endives completely.
  4. Bake at 425˚F for 25 minutes.
  5. Turn off the oven and heat the broiler to high.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over the top of the baking dish and broil until golden brown and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with a green salad .

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did you make this recipe?

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Endives Chicons au gratin on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis is a really comforting winter dish, typically served with mashed potatoes but I like it with a fresh green salad. Makes a perfect lunch or light dinner. Brings me right back to those school lunches, too!

Try Mama Earth Organics for yourself – with $50 off your first order!

That’s right – from now through the end of February, use the promo code MAMAMARDI50 at checkout for $50 off your first delivery! So go on, give it a try (and let me know if you do!).


Disclosure: I have been compensated in kind by Mama Earth Organics in exchange for for sharing my weekly deliveries on social media. I have not received financial compensation for these posts and they have not been reviewed by Mama Earth  prior to publication.  All opinions are my own (we’ve been using the service for a number of years so I can vouch for it!).


Please note: This recipe contains affiliate links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!

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