Several years ago I found this recipe on a French language site, Les Fruits et Les Legumes Frais (Fresh Fruits and Vegetables). Actually, the site was then called 10 par jour or 10 per day. Regardless, I've enjoyed making this classic and simple dish from time to time.
At the deli, I ask for the ham to be cut into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Thinner slices could be used, but you may want two or three per roll. The dish can be prepared ahead, refrigerated, and baked just before serving. As I prepared this dish today, I thought that two or three stalks of asparagus would make an equally good vegetable to roll up into the ham. I've adapted the recipe slightly from the original
Endive Ham Rolls
6 endives, washed, with outer leaves removed and ends cut off
6 slices ham, either from the deli or from a leftover baked ham, about 1/8 inch thick
3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3/4 cup finely grated Swiss or Gruyère cheese
Steam the endives until tender, about 15 minutes. If you don't have a steamer, place them in about 1/2 inch of barely simmering water. Drain and let cool. This could be done ahead and the endives stored in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Cut the endives in half lengthwise. Cut the ham slices in half crosswise. This step will depend greatly on the size and shape of your ham slices. You want the ham to mostly cover the endives and to wrap around them with a bit of overlap.
Wrap the endives in the ham. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour. Let cook until barely golden. Do not let it get overly browned. Stir in the mustard, if using. Whisk in the milk and cook the sauce until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour about half of the sauce into an 11 x 8 inch baking dish. Arrange the ham and endive rolls on top in rows. Pour the remaining sauce over each row. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the rolls are hot throughout. The ham may brown a little on the edges.
Enjoy with a green salad and some white wine. ooh la la