Stage 3, Bruxelles – Spa: Today, Gabriel Gaté presents Taste Le Tour from a Belgian beer café and looks at the most popular Belgian dishes. Eccentric French gendarme François makes a classic Belgian endive dish, while sommelier Christian Maier discusses Belgian beer with an expert.

Serves
4

Preparation

10min

Cooking

40min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 3.6 (11 votes)
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium witlof (Belgian endives)
  • about 80 g butter, cut into small pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 120 g Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4-8 thin slices ham

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Remove any damaged witlof leaves and trim the hard ends.

Place about 20 g butter in a saucepan. Place the witlof on top and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tbsp chopped parsley over the top and cover with a layer of baking paper. Place on low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the witlof a couple of times during the cooking.

Melt the remaining 60 g butter in a saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk in the plain flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Bit by bit, whisk in the cold milk until you obtain a smooth sauce.  Cook for 2 minutes and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and stir in 80 g grated Gruyère cheese.

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Transfer the cooked witlof to a plate and leave to cool a little.  When cool enough, wrap each witlof in a slice or two of ham.  Place in a greased gratin dish and spoon the white sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with the remaining chopped parsley and remaining Gruyère.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.  Take care, it’s very hot!