Try this creamy, savory Endive Gratin recipe for a meal filled with flavor and heartiness. It’s made complete with a delicious bechamel sauce and gruyere cheese!
The first time I cooked with endive I was a little skeptical. I was warned of the bitterness but wanted to give it a shot nonetheless.
Cooking it unveils its mildly sweet flavor, so I decided to do just that for this recipe. Roasting the endive removes a lot of that distinct bitterness, transforming it into a slightly sweet, slightly nutty delicacy.
And we’re amping it up another level by adding the makings for a gratin – bechamel sauce and gruyere cheese! The result is a decadent dish that’s high on flavor, packed with veggies, and perfect as a dinner main course or side.
Ingredients in Belgian Endive Gratin
Endive gratin is divided into three ingredient components: the endives, the sauce, and the cheese. Together, this meal becomes a savory, cheesy, filling dish that you’re going to crave again and again!
- Belgian Endives: First, you will need 8 individual Belgian endives, which you can find in the produce aisle of many grocery stores. This will create 4 hefty servings!
- Olive Oil: 2 tablespoons of olive oil will be used to help the endives brown up when baking.
- Butter: First up for the bechamel sauce is 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. If using salted butter, simply omit the salt from this recipe.
- Flour: Next, 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour thickens up the sauce and helps it achieve the correct consistency.
- Milk: 2 cups of warm milk will add the liquid component to the sauce. I recommend regular dairy milk, either low-fat or whole. Nut milk will add an undesired flavor.
- Salt & Cayenne Pepper: Finally, complete the sauce with a pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Gruyere: No gratin is complete without cheese! You’ll need 1 cup of grated gruyere, divided.
- Parmesan: Finish off the dish with ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese.
What is bechamel?
Bechamel is one of my favorite parts of this recipe. It brings the whole dish together and creates a creamy, cheesy meal! If you’re unfamiliar, bechamel is a white sauce made with milk, flour, and butter. It’s found in many French and Greek recipes and can actually be used as a substitute for ricotta (like in this lasagna)!
How to make baked endive gratin
Belgian endive au gratin begins by roasting the endive in the oven. We’ll coat it with olive oil to make it nice and golden brown. Then, we’ll create the bechamel and assemble everything in a dish. Top with cheese and broil, and that’s it!
Step 1: Roast the endive
Preheat the oven to 425ªF (218ªC). Cut most of the tough root off of each endive, leaving just enough to keep the endive intact. Cut each in half lengthwise and arrange cut side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing evenly to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, or until fork tender.
Step 2: Create the bechamel
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking to combine, and cook for about a minute.
While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Once fully incorporated, increase the heat to reach a gentle simmer until the sauce thickens. Stir in the salt, cayenne, and half of the gruyere.
Step 3: Assemble the gratin
In a large casserole dish, spread a third of the bechamel sauce onto the bottom, and then tightly pack in the cooked endives. Top evenly with the remaining bechamel and sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
Step 4: Broil the dish
Set the oven to broil and place the pan on the middle rack. Broil, watching closely, until the cheese is melty and golden.
Endive Gratin Tips
Dish Size: I used a 9×13 casserole dish, and it worked well with 8 endives. You can use whatever size you have, but I recommend keeping the endives to one layer for optimal cooking. If using an 8×8 dish, you’ll probably need 5 or 6 endives.
Swapping Gruyere: Not everyone loves gruyere, and that’s okay! Mozzarella makes another tasty option.
Choosing Endives: When shopping for endives, look for those that are yellow vs. green. The endives with yellow coloring are usually fresher and have a better taste!
more casserole-style Recipes
Casserole recipes are always a go-to in my house. Here are some more ideas, most of which include extra cheese deliciousness!
- Vegan Green Bean Casserole
- Ratatouille (Tian Provençal)
- Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
- Spaghetti Squash Alfredo Casserole
- 8 Belgian endives
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 28 g
- 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups warm milk 472 mL
- Pinch each salt and cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated gruyere divided
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- Roast: Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Cut most of the tough root from each endive, leaving just enough to keep the endive intact. Cut each in half lengthwise and arrange cut side down on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing to evenly coat. Roast for 30 minutes, or until fork-tender.
- Bechamel: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking to combine, and cook for about a minute. While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Once fully incorporated, increase heat to reach a gentle simmer until sauce thickens. Stir in salt, cayenne, and half of the gruyere.
- Assembly: Into a large casserole dish, layer a third of the bechamel sauce, then tightly pack in the cooked endives. Top evenly with remaining bechamel and sprinkle with the cheeses.
- Broil: Set oven to broil and place pan on the middle rack. Broil, watching closely, until cheese is melty and golden.