Prep 40 mins
Cook 20 mins
I love the distinctive tastes of gruyere cheese, chicory and ham together and regularly make this in the winter as a main course to warm everyone up from top to toe when the rain is lashing down outside and they come in from the cold, ... hearty comfort food :) Gruyere cheese gives this recipe a flavour all of its own. Enjoy!
- 8 heads chicory lettuce (=Witlof)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- 16 slices cooked ham (or more if you wish)
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup cream
- salt & pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups gruyere cheese (grated)
- 1 cup of sbrinz cheese (grated) (optional)
- Clean chicory heads, remove outer leaves and cut off about 1 cm from the thick end of the chicory.
- Fill a large pot with water and add lemon, butter and salt, add chicory and boil for about 20-30 minutes or until tender (cooking time depends on the size of the chicories) Once cooked, drain really well (or all the excess water will leak out later and make your cheese sauce very very thin).
- Take 2 slices of ham and arrange them slightly overlapping on a cutting board, using tongs, place a chicory in the middle, sprinkle a small amount of the grated gruyere on and roll it up. (when I make this as a main course I personally use 3 slices of ham for each chicory, but that's just personal preference).
- Place the ham rolled chicory in an ovenproof dish.
- To make the cheese sauce:.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, take off the heat and add the flour, using a whisk to blend it into a smooth paste with the cream and then add the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Return the sauce to the heat to cook and thicken, whisking constantly. Don't worry if it looks overly thick, no matter how much water you get out of the chicory there will still be some left in there somewhere to make your sauce a little bit thinner.
- Lastly, add the rest of the grated Gruyere to the sauce (and Sbrinz cheese if you are using that too) stir, and then pour the sauce over the ham rolled chicorys.
- Put into a preheated oven at 220 C (425 F) for 10-20 minutes and serve hot.
- Serve with any pasta type that will coat with the sauce well.
- NOTE: I sometimes replace the cream with a soya product that we have here called "soya cusine" if you are watching your intake of dairy products, cholesterol etc then this is a healthier option and doesn't effect the taste of the dish at all.
Hi Kiwidutch, 5 stars for this one. You told me this was your favourite comfort food. I had to try it but couldn't find the chicory first try. This week end I found it. My husband is not always ready to try something new(I'm the adventurous one).He LOVED it and kept saying this is true comfort food.You are right about the water (I even tried to dry them in the salad spinner after I cooked them). It did not deter from th taste. Anyways,I had a bit too much sauce for my casserole so we spooned it on. Gruyere is almost sinful.Thank you for sharing your comfort food. Rita
This recipe turned this one-time chicory hater into a firm fan. My dislike of chicory began in a French cafeteria in 1998, where the cooks always boiled it until it was just a bitter mush. What a shame when it can taste so good, as I now know! This dish is hearty, comforting and a beautiful, unique main dish for your family or a dinner party.
I've made this several times since YOU made this for us & I now make this without needing the recipe to refer to. It is a family favorite! Thank you, Kiwi!