We didn’t really see him coming, all of us confined (almost all). However, there were indications: the beginning of spring ten days ago, the sky more and more clear, the time change last weekend … April is here. As the seasons do not wait for the end of confinement to succeed, the beginning of April also means that it is the last month – before, hopefully, their return in October – to eat chicory, or chicons as they are called in the North and in Belgium.
Among the recipes in video that the Lyon chef Joseph Viola (1), best worker in France in 2004, offers these days on Instagram, we salivated before its endives with ham. For two people, you need: 4 slices of white ham, 4 endives, about 150 grams of grated Gruyère cheese, a little lemon juice (not compulsory). And for the béchamel: 150 grams of liquid cream, 350 grams of milk, 40 grams of butter, 40 grams of flour, nutmeg, salt, pepper.
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Wash the endives and place them in a casserole dish, with a little water, just “the bottom [de la cocotte], says the cook. We tend to cook vegetables too much, we distort them. ” Add coarse salt and a knob of butter, cover. Cook for about twenty minutes. During this time, prepare the béchamel: melt the butter, without letting it color, add the flour, mix quickly off the heat and put back on the heat for a little minute, still without going to the coloring. Add half the cold milk, beat well so that the preparation is smooth. Salt, pepper, nutmeg. Add the rest of the milk and the cream, mix well over the heat so that the sauce thickens a little.
With the tip of a knife, check the cooking of the endives, cook for a few more minutes if necessary by adding a little lemon juice “So that the endives stay very white”, advises Joseph Viola. Add the endive broth to the béchamel, whisk. Add half of the cheese to the béchamel.
Butter a baking dish, pour a few spoons of béchamel in the bottom. Wrap the endives in slices of ham, place them in the dish. Pour the rest of the béchamel on top – “It must be abundant and cover the ham well” – and grated cheese. The, “You have to be generous”. Bake for ten minutes, until the cheese gratin and the béchamel begins to bubble.
(1) Daniel and Denise, 156 rue de Créqui, Lyon IIIe, 8 rue Cuirre, Lyon IVe, and 36 rue Tramassac, Lyon Ve.