Here is a creative take on a Belgian classic: a baking dish loaded with easy ham and leeks rolls au gratin in a classic bechamel cheese sauce! Oven baked leeks with, cheese… Loads of cheese!
How does that sound to you?
Well bloody excellent if you ask me!
Oh see, here I go again.
I just said ‘a classic bechamel cheese sauce’.
But that is not 100% politically correct though.
Because bechamel is actually the name for the plain white sauce.
You know, the one that you make with butter, all purpose flour and milk. And without the cheese in it. However if you addd grated cheese to that bechamel white sauce, then technically your bechamel sauce turns into a classic mornay sauce.
Did you know that?
Oh well, that is just a detail perhaps.
But good to know anyway!
Easy Ham And Leeks Rolls Au Gratin
Leeks in the oven…
This leek and ham bake is a creative version of a Belgian classic dish: witloofrolletjes or delicious endives wrapped in ham in cheese sauce. For the original recipe you need fresh endives instead of leeks.
You might know endives by the name of chicory as well by the way.
In this recipe below here I also add a slice of cheese when I wrap the leeks in ham. Just because I happened to have a couple of them in my fridge, so that made this au gratin extra cheesy!
I use slices of cured ham, like Spanish serrano or Italian prosciutto ham.
However for the classic recipe we use slices of cooked ham. Which would also work here as well, goes without saying.
So once you have wrapped the leeks in ham and cheese, tuck them nicely in a baking dish. And then top the leek rolls with a quick and easy béchamel cheese sauce and put the whole lot under a hot grill for a couple of minutes.
Serve these easy ham and leeks rolls with a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes next to it.
Belgian comfort food at its best.
Easy Ham And Leeks Rolls Au Gratin Recipe
Here’s a creative take on the Belgian chicory rolls classic: my creamy easy ham and leeks rolls au gratin in cheese sauce...
- 12 slices cured ham
- 12 slices Emmental cheese
- 2 lbs fresh leeks (900 g)
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk (240 ml)
- a handful grated cheese
- 1 tbsp plain flour
Trim and rinse the leeks. Then chop the leeks into 12 to 16 even pieces about 3 inches (7,5 cm) in length.
Then steam the leeks. I used a pasta pan, placed the leeks on the bottom of the basket and then added an inch (2,5 cm) of water.
- Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Then steam the leeks for 30 minutes until soft.
You can also prepare them in a steam basket or steam oven. If you can't steam, then boil the leeks.Then let the leeks cool down fully. Gently squeeze them to remove any excess water, or the sauce will be too runny in the end. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Then add the plain flour and whisk well.
Let the mixture bake for a minute to get rid of the floury taste. Then pour in the milk little by little. Whisk constantly over medium-low heat.
- The bechamel sauce will thicken as you go.
Season it with pepper, salt and nutmeg in the end. You should end up with a pretty runny sauce. Make the leek rolls now. Top a slice of ham with a slice of cheese and a cooked leek. Season with pepper.
Roll the leek up. Place it in a large baking dish and assemble the remaining rolls. Arrange them neatly in the dish.
Pour the bechamel sauce on top. Then sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Grill the leeks under a hot grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.