6 to 8 heads Belgian endive
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere, Parmesan and/or dry Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices cooked ham, cut in strips
1 tablespoon melted butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Trim endives and discard outer leaves. Put them in a buttered flameproof casserole with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice, cover with buttered foil and the lid and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Bake 1 hour or until tender.
To make the sauce, melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until dissolved. Slowly whisk in milk. Stir in the 1/3 cup cheese and the mustard, cooking just until cheese is melted.
Transfer the endives to a heatproof platter. Stir ham into sauce, taste for seasoning and spoon over the endives. Top with remaining grated cheese and melted butter. Brown under the broiler before serving. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 151 calories (64 percent from fat), 11 g fat (6.6 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated), 33 mg cholesterol, 6.2 g protein, 7.4 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fiber, 235 mg sodium.