I will show you how to make a Belgian classic! Chicory rolls (or endive rolls) are cooked endives wrapped in ham and topped with a homemade béchamel sauce. This is one of my all time favorite Belgian recipes.
And you will love it too!
I am pretty sure that if you ask a thousand random Belgians what their favorite Belgian recipe is, then this one would also end up in everyone’s top 3.
Belgian Chicory Ham Rolls (Witloofrolletjes)
This is my way of prepare chicory rolls.
If you want it extra cheesy, then you can also wrap a slice of cheese around the endives. Or add cheese to the béchamel sauce which makes it a mornay sauce. Because you can easily make these chicory rolls in advance, this is also a great quick dinner option!
My dad is a pescatarian which means so much as he will eat fish but no meat.
So last time I prepared this dish, I replaced the ham by slices of smoked salmon.
And he loved it!
The traditional side for these chicory rolls au gratin is a scoop of creamy potato mash.
You can also add the mash to a baking dish with the rolls and then top it with grated cheese. Comfort food heaven.
It is so good that I can eat this dish in every season!
Belgian Endives With Ham and Mornay Sauce
Grace over at Explore Cook Eat gave this chicory ham rolls recipe a try, and we love it!
She is working her way through a cookbook called “1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die” by Mimi Sheraton. And one of the dishes is this Belgian classic: check out Grace’s version!
Are you interested in more Belgian classic recipes to try out at home?
Perhaps you like the sound of these chicory rolls?
Endives or Leeks
But perhaps you don’t like endives?
Then you should also check out another version of this dish with leeks instead of endives! It is another creative take on the original recipe.
One you will definitely like as well!
Best Belgian Chicory Rolls Au Gratin (Witloofrolletjes)
Chicory rolls: wrapped in ham and topped with a cheesy bechamel sauce. Definitely one of my all-time favorite Belgian classics!
- 4 fresh Belgian endives
- 4 slices cooked ham
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups whole milk (480 ml)
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 handfuls grated cheese
Rinse the endives. Remove the little discolored bottom tip. Then place the endives in a pan and add ¼ cup (60 ml) of water.
Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg. Cover the pan and place it over medium heat for 45 minutes until the endives are tender. Check regularly. Add extra water if necessary. You can also steam them.
Let them cool. Then gently squeeze out any excess water: it makes the bechamel sauce watery. Put a slice of ham on a plate. Place an endive on it and season with some pepper. Roll it up. Make 4 neat rolls.
Then transfer the chicory rolls to a baking dish.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Then add the flour and whisk. Let the mixture cook for a minute. Stir regularly.
Gradually add the milk and whisk constantly over medium heat. The bechamel sauce will gradually thicken.
Season it with a little pepper, salt and nutmeg when you’ve added all the milk. Then add the egg yolk and stir.
You should end up with a pretty runny but glossy sauce. I also add a few drops of worcester sauce (optional). Pour the bechamel sauce on top of the chicory rolls in the baking dish.
Then top with the grated cheese. Bake the chicory rolls in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 12 minutes until the cheese crust is golden. Remove the dish from the oven. Divide the rolls over plates and serve.