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Melt 3tbsp of butter in a saucepan. Cut out in a wedge-shape the bitter core at the root end of the chicory head, add the chicory to the butter, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
For the sauce, prepare a roux from the flour and 3tbsp of butter and add the milk, stirring constantly; simmer for 5 minutes. Season sparingly with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir in one third of the grated cheese.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6/400°F.
Grease an ovenproof dish with the remaining butter. Remove the chicory from the saucepan and drain well. Wrap up each piece of chicory in a slice of ham and put them in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Bake in the oven until brown and serve immediately. The Belgians serve this dish with creamed potatoes and either Pilsner beer or a Sauvignon from the Touraine or Sancerre.
1/2cup butter 4oz/100g
4 heads chicory
salt & black pepper
1tbsp chopped parsley
1/3cup flour 1 1/2oz/40g
pinch of nutmeg
3oz Greyerzer (Gruyere) 75g
4 slices cooked ham