Dinner for Two: Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere

Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere | dessertfortwo.com

Need a little more French in ya?  Last week, I shared my recipe for a small batch of mini Chocolate Eclairs.  This week, we’re making another classic French dish for two:  Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere.

I firmly believe that anything wrapped in Black Forest ham and covered with Gruyere cheese is delicious, but this endive gratin takes the cake.  Would that be the crepe cake?  Oui!

Endive is  a slightly bitter lettuce that grows in the dark during the winter.  Well, technically, first the plant is grown in the light to develop its roots, and then the roots are transplanted into sand and allowed to grow in the dark.  The lack of light creates the perfectly white leaves that you see on most of the plant.  Then, at the end of the growing process, it is exposed briefly to light to develop chlorophyll (color) at the tips of the leaves.  This amazing lettuce belongs in your grocery cart.

Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere | dessertfortwo.com

If you need a little help choosing endive at the store, look for bright white, firm leaves that still have a bit of hair left on them.  See the fuzz on the endive below?  That’s a good thing.  It’s a sign of freshness.  Actually, all lettuce has tiny hairs on the leaves, but you will only see it if the lettuce is very fresh.  See, I’m still putting my Master’s degree to work—I scope lettuce for hairs in the produce department.

Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere | dessertfortwo.com

Look at these baby lettuce taking a nap in their ham blankets while bathing in bubbly cheese.  Some days, I wish I was an endive.

Endive Gratin with Ham and Gruyere | dessertfortwo.com

Quick update for ya:  I’ve been sharing some of my dinner for two recipes over on Food Fanatic, and usually I make you click on over for the recipe.  Well, I hear y’all didn’t like that.  I’m sorry for making you hop all over the internetz just to get my recipes.  From now on, the recipes will be featured here, too.  In the meantime, I will go back and add the recipes to all of my dinners, so stay tuned for that!


    • says

      Hi Christine! I bought it at a podunk antique shop in Napa. Sorry :( I do know that it’s called speckled enamelware, and you should be able to find it pretty easily on the internetz! :) Thanks :)

  1. LIsa says

    Ya know i consider myself pretty food educated …but can you believe i dont have the slightest idea what an endive tastes like?

    • says

      I think you’ll like it, Lisa! It’s crispy, clean and only slightly bitter. You’ll hardly notice the bitter when it’s covered in cheese and ham, but if you eat it raw in a salad, you’ll taste it. I love it :)

  2. says

    I always could use more French food in my life…can’t help it…maybe it’s that French major of mine…nah it’s deeper than that!

    This is an interesting way to serve endive. I’ve only seen it as a holder for a chopped salad or dip…this looks so much better! Mmmm gruyere!

  3. says

    Alex would not be a fan of this (crazy boy does not like ham, I graciously choose to still love him anyway) but I would be ALLOVERIT. So I’m going to need to make it as a dinner for ONE when he’s gone. Say…honey…when are you leaving next? ;-)

  4. says

    Endive usually feels a little too bitter to me…but if it’s bathed in cheese, then that’s a whole other thing. A whole other thing I need for dinner.

  5. Madeline says

    If you boil the endives first for 15-18 minutes in salted water they will lose some of the bitterness (in a good way), and then proceed with your recipe as usual. This is how my Maman would prepare it for us in France.

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