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Witloff with Ham and Cheese

Witloff has a refreshingly bitter taste but this pretty much disappears during boiling.

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  • 8 heads of witloff

  • 8 slices of ham

  • 100 ml meat or vegetable stock

  • 1 ½ kg potatoes

  • 100 ml milk

  • 50 grams butter

  • 30 grams flour

  • 125 grams grated cheese


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 225 degrees C

  • 2.

    Cut about 1 cm off the bottom of each head of chicory and then cut a cone of about the same length into the stem. This is the bitter centre that can be discarded. (A bit like the heart of a lettuce)

  • 3.

    In a large saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and boil the chicory for about 5 minutes. Drain, but keep 300 ml of the cooking water.

  • 4.

    Boil, drain and mash potatoes with the milk and 20 g of the butter.

  • 5.

    In a small saucepan, melt the butter, carefully stir in the flour until you have a smooth paste and slowly add the cooking water. Mix in most of the cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on the top.

  • 6.

    Wrap each piece of chicory in a slice of ham and put in a large, deep oven-proof dish.

  • 7.

    Pour in the stock, then spoon on the cheese sauce.

  • 8.

    Cover with the mashed potato and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

  • 9.

    Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

  • 10.

    Serve hot as a meal in itself or with a steamed, green vegetable.


When buying chicory, look for heads that have smooth, white leaves and a yellow tip. Store in a cool place and eat within a day or two of buying. .
Tip: This dish is also delicious without the ham. Use vegetable instead of meat stock.

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