featured image for An Endive And Smoked Ham Braise
Recipes » Main Dish » Pork » Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere

Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere

This endive and ham casserole is a spin on a French classic wildly popular here in Charleston, South Carolina related to our Huguenot history.

featured image for An Endive And Smoked Ham Braise

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere

What To Make With Leftover Ham?

You can bake up this elevated ham casserole recipe for starters! This dish is an elegant main dinner dish or a sophisticated side dish. When considering this recipe, think Brunch, lunch, or light supper.

Ham casserole recipes abound, whether diced into au gratin potatoes or chopped into a ham noodle casserole. This recipe for a leftover ham casserole is a bit different; more refined and very chic. And it becomes this with the addition of Belgian Endive, some heavy cream, and a smoked cheese that takes the place of a traditional and heavy Béchamel sauce.

plate of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

Recipes for casseroles with ham are in high demand. One search on the internet yields endless possibilities. It really just depends on what you’re feeling like and what your eaters will eat!

The recipe I am sharing today is filed under ‘dinner recipes, comfort food, casserole recipes, casseroles with ham’ in my recipe tin. It amounts to a superior recipe for a ham casserole dish loaded with fresh endive and a bit of smoky Gruyere cheese. The casserole is a take on a classic French dish, and is wildly popular here in Charleston given the long established Huguenot history rooted here.

I myself have 78 leftover ham casserole recipes. Not all are created equal. If I am dishing up kids, in goes a cup shredded cheddar cheese. If it’s my Dad, in goes a package of cooked egg noodles. Mom? It’s GOT TO BE sour cream for my Mom.

Ham added to any dish livens things up with an earthy and smoky flavor. I find ham is most often a favorite when combined in some way with potatoes. A couple of cups milk and a handful of thinly sliced potatoes and I have a ham and potato casserole in just about an hour.

But what if you are entertaining or cooking for a crowd where you want to impress without breaking the bank? This is one of those methods that hanging on to will prove worth it for just such an occasion! So put your everyday ham casseroles on the back burner and review this recipe. I think you’re going to want to try this!

Do You Have What’s Needed To Make Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere? Check The List!

unsalted butter
Belgian endive, about six
leftover ham
Kosher salt
black pepper
fresh ground nutmeg
heavy cream
chicken stock
bread crumbs
smoked Gruyere cheese
fresh chopped parsley
fresh lemon wedges

How This Recipe Came About…

One of the top three email inquiries to the Not Entirely Average test kitchen inbox is what to make with leftover ham. Naturally, I have made great strides to create easy recipes for using up those leftovers, including that ham bone!

Traditional ham and bean soup aside, leftover ham as a transitional ingredient tends to get overlooked. I know that if I go to the trouble of securing a gorgeous spiral or smoked ham for Christmas or Easter, I darn well want to get everything delicious about ham out of it!

Used here in nearly equal proportion to the smoked cheese and toasted breadcrumbs, the ham is julienned to fit in the slender chasms between the endives in the baking dish. As the oven heats, the endive will braise, the ham all the while imparting its salty, smoky profile with each bead of juice that escapes as it bakes.

This casserole is easily expanded for a crowd. When cooked, the endive become quite silky. Any bitterness endive are known for immediately becomes a background flavor. Ham, especially leftover ham, adds a pleasing smoky and dry-aged flavor.

raw endive heads

What Can I Substitute For Smoked Gruyere Cheese In This Casserole Recipe?

Gruyere cheese is a hard cheese that’s known for its palate of vast complexity. That is to say, its flavor changes as it works through the aging process.

Gruyere and its delicious cousin smoked Gruyere, is both affordable and easy to purchase most anywhere. But I do not consider Gruyere, smoked or otherwise, a staple of my kitchen. Hence, the need arises for substitutes on occasion.

The two cheeses most frequently substituted for Gruyere are Emmentaler Swiss and Jarlsberg. Mild, creamy, and the slightest bit nutty, either are good substitutes to consider if Gruyere is not available to you. Keep in mind that neither of these cheeses is available smoked.

But what if you wanted to take this recipe to the next level? Here are two standouts that are FABULOUS to cook with if you are able to locate them.

Beaufort cheese is an Alpine cheese produced in Beaufortain, Tarentaise Valley and Maurienne in the French Alps. It is a firm, raw cows milk cheese associated with the gruyere family and THE BEST substitute for traditional Gruyere. This cheese is also unavailable smoked, however its attributes would stand alone in any recipe making the nuance of ‘smoke’ inconsequential.

Comté is also a more than adequate substitute for Gruyere. A French cheese produced in the Jura Massif region of Eastern France, this unpasteurized cow’s milk hard mountain cheese is matured deep in caves where it establishes its unique taste, texture and color. Another standout whose lack of smoke is inconsequential compared to its imperial flavor profile.

casserole of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

What Is The Best Way To Cook Belgian Endives?

One word: BRAISE. And this is a basic method for braising not requiring any more liquid than heavy cream, chicken stock, and melted butter. The endive are dense yet still fragile enough to where they will maintain their shape while cooking very quickly.

To be sure to cook quickly, I recommend that each endive be cut in half lengthwise before being placed face down in a well buttered baking dish. And you’ll want to reach for a pretty baking dish or casserole as this dish is very beautiful served directly from your oven.

This dish is stunning when served straight from your oven to your table in an elegant gratin or pretty casserole. Kitchen necessaries, click images for pricing and ship times.

copper chafing dish with lid

How To Make Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere?

The use of fresh vegetables and leftover ham make gathering these ingredients a cinch. Prep takes mere minutes and the cook time is just around one hour.

I begin by halving the endive lengthwise. Some methods of prep suggest making a ‘V’ cut at the base of each half to remove the core. I do not do this but you may.

I heavily butter (not cooking spray, not olive oil) a pretty casserole dish and begin to think of how I can arrange the endive, cut-side down, atop the butter layer. As the endive braise, that butter will both caramelize and crisp the undersides.

Next comes the julienned ham. By all means use leftover ham! I am sure to tuck slivers into all willowy spaces between the endives. In other words, cover the surface of the casserole dish completely. Think of your placement of the ham against the outer leaves of the endive as the ‘leaves kissed with flavor’ during the bake.

The addition of bread crumbs atop the mixture of stock and heavy cream as it bubbles beneath the endive gives this dish its elegance. I liken the combination of the moist ‘stuffing-topped’ endive and ham to Thanksgiving dressing on steroids. Yep…it’s THAT AMAZING!

plate of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…

This is a savory dish with “here’s and there’s” of sweet notes in the cream and the crispy caramelized endive. If you want more olfactory with this bake, the addition of roughly chopped shallot would be the first ingredient I would look to. Scatter it in and among the julienned ham and follow the recipe card as instructed.

Fresh herbs would also be a lovely addition, but be cautious in your choices. Consider mellow herbs such as thyme and marjoram over stronger herbs like rosemary or oregano. Remember the ham and endive and smokiness of the Gruyere are the primary tasting notes of this bake.

If endive prove impossible to locate, consider fresh white or green asparagus, fresh leeks (white parts and green up to where the leek becomes tough), or sweet potato rounds. Now, that last suggestion may surprise you, but sweet potato are FABULOUS in this dish in lieu of endive.

plate of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

Is Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere A Main Dish Or A Side?

As I mentioned earlier, Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere may be a light main or an elegant side. I most often prepare this as a Brunch side to my Boursin Omelet or an elegant side to my cheese soufflé. I have on occasion used this in conjunction with a citrus salad where this casserole was served as a light but filling main.

How Long Does It Take To Bake Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere?

Plan on a one hour bake time for this casserole. You’ll need to run your oven anywhere from 375 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your oven’s capacity.

Toward the end of the bake, you will be able to smell the ham and the distinct aroma of smoke from the Gruyere as it melts. Upon glancing, the cream will bubble up from beneath the endive and bread crumb layers. Yep, an ooey-gooey mess of pure deliciousness!

Once removed from the oven, you will want to give the casserole about 10 minutes to rest and then serve it hot with wedges of fresh lemon for those looking for contrasting acidity.

plate of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

Can Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere Be Made Ahead?

Parts of this casserole may be made ahead. If looking to prep as much ahead as possible, complete “stages” of this recipe and follow the recipe card to assemble all before baking.

  • combine Kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh nutmeg in a bowl on the counter and cover with plastic film until ready to assemble the casserole
  • julienne the ham and place into a bowl to be covered with plastic film and refrigerated until ready to assemble the casserole
  • combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and chopped parsley and place in a bowl to be covered with plastic film and refrigerated until ready to assemble the casserole

Can I Freeze Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere?

Yes. Allow the fully cooked casserole to cool, then wrap tightly in foil. Refrigerate up to two days or freeze up to three months.

To reheat, bake, uncovered, 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To thaw, place in refrigerator over night.

How To Serve Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere?

This fully cooked casserole is brimming with richness and is marvelous when served directly from the oven to table. Serve with slices of thick cut hearty baguette or another crusty bread and a green salad.

If serving as a side, consider a lovely cheese soufflé or omelet.

If You Like This Recipe…

…you might also like:

Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash With Sherry And Cream

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

Wild Rice & Butternut Casserole with Cranberries and Pecans

Best Creamy And Easy Squash Casserole

overhead view of easy squash casserole

Best Creamy And Easy Squash Casserole

plate of Endive Gratin With Ham and Smoked Gruyere

Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
This endive and ham casserole is a spin on a French classic wildly popular here in Charleston, South Carolina related to our Huguenot history.
No ratings yet
Servings: 6 servings as a side dish
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, French
Servings 6 servings as a side dish
Calories 395 kcal

Equipment

  • pretty casserole dish of 9 x 12-inches, 9 x 13-inches, an 11-inch oval, or another casserole with similar capacity

Ingredients
 

Ingredients for Endive Gratin With Ham And Smoked Gruyere

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 6 large heads Belgian endive cut down the middle lengthwise
  • 2 cups ham julienned; NOTE * leftover ham is the best in this recipe
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • nutmeg freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock homemade if you have it on hand
  • 1 cup bread crumbs may substitute a classic herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gruyere cheese grated
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh, chopped
  • 1 large lemon cut into wedges

Instructions
 

The Method

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Heavily butter the bottom and sides of a gratin or casserole with 3 tablespoons of the butter. Set aside.
  • Place the endive halves cut side down atop the butter. Arrange so the cut sides are all flat against the bottom of the gratin.
  • Tuck the julienned ham between the endive wherever possible leaving no visible bottom. Scatter whatever remains atop the endive. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, several grinds of black pepper, and several grinds of fresh nutmeg.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and the chicken stock and pour evenly over the endive and ham.
  • In a large sauté pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. To the melted butter, add the breadcrumbs, grated cheese, and the chopped parsley. Scatter the breadcrumb mixture over the gratin.
  • Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the crust is golden.
  • Allow to rest 10 minutes after pulling from the oven. Serve hot as a light main dish or elegant side dish with lemon wedges.

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
To Make Ahead: Parts of this casserole may be made ahead. If looking to prep as much ahead as possible, complete “stages” of this recipe and follow the recipe card to assemble all before baking.
  • combine Kosher salt, black pepper, and fresh nutmeg in a bowl on the counter and cover with plastic film until ready to assemble the casserole
  • julienned the ham and place into a bowl to be refrigerated and cover with plastic film until ready to assemble the casserole
  • combine the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and chopped parsley and place in a bowl to be refrigerated and cover with plastic film until ready to assemble the casserole
To Freeze:
Allow the fully cooked casserole to cool, then wrap tightly in foil. The casserole may be refrigerated up to two days or frozen up to three months. To reheat, bake, uncovered, 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To thaw, place in refrigerator over night.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 395kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 17gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 955mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 805IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 2mg
Keyword au gratin, Belgian endive, casserole, endive, ham and cheese casserole, ham au gratin, ham casserole, leftover ham, ultimate comfort food
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

LOVE this? PIN it to SAVE it!

Pinterest pin image for An Endive And Smoked Ham Braise

FREE copy of ‘From Jezebel Sauce To Frogmore Stew, 14 Recipes From My Charleston Lowcountry Kitchen

Have YOU downloaded YOUR FREE COPY of my ebook yet? click here to get your copy of ‘from jezebel sauce to frogmore stew, 14 recipes from my charleston lowcountry kitchen.’

Don’t Want To Miss A Thing?

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. or, subscribe to my blog and have delicious inspiration delivered straight to your inbox each week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating