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Murdoch books – 365 Challenge: Witlof with ham

February 3, 2011 3 Comments

When I was choosing recipes I wanted to cook as part of the Murdoch books 356 challenge I wanted to make sure I included some that contained ingredients I had not used before. Say hello to Mr Witlof. What is a witlof?

~Mr Witlof~

Here is some Witlof trivia for you but please pay attention a pop quiz will be handed out later. Witlof are a cute little vegetable that is from the endive family. Endive is a vegetable I am familiar with, being one of my mums favorite veggies so at home she would cook it often. Witlof actually means ‘White leaf’ and also comes in a red variety and was originally discovered in Belgium in the 1800s.. bored yet… before you nod off let us get to the yummy bits of this post.

This was a very easy recipe, and is a VERY naughty way to eat your veggies.. hehe.. just how I like them.

These little cute buds are boiled in the oven with sugar and butter first, then drained and cooled .

~About to be cooked in water, butter and sugar~

Once they are cooked they are wrapped in ham and prosciutto, covered in cheese and then topped with béchamel sauce and baked in the oven… very naughty but OH SO NICE!

~And here they are going into the oven~

The recipe calls for Beaufort cheese which I could not get my hands on so I substituted with Gruyère cheese which melts beautifully and can be happily used as a substitute. Lovely.


For the Witlof

  • 6 Witlof
  • 40g butter, cubed
  • 1 tbls sugar
  • 6 slices ham off the bone
  • 6 slices prosciutto
  • 150g aged Beaufort cheese (substitute Gruyère)

For béchamel sauce:

  • 40g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 200ml pouring cream
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Cut the witlof in half and arrange them side by side in a gratin dish. Dot with the butter, sprinkle with sugar and fill the dish with water. Bake for 20 mins, turning them regularly. Place on a wire rack to cool to lukewarm. This also helps access water to drain out.
  2. Roll the halves in the slices of leg ham and prosciutto. Arrange them once again in a gratin dish and dot with the Beaufort cheese. Reduce heat to 160ºC.
  3. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour, stir over gentle heat for 5 mins using a wooden spatula, season. Add the milk, cream and nutmeg, cook for a further 5 mints, stirring. Pour the béchamel over the witlof then bake in the oven for 20 mins and SHAZAM!

Buon Appetito!

Tags: , , , , , 365 Challenge, 365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat, Books, Food writers, Murdock Books, Stéphane Reynaud
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  • Toniette

    Mamma Mia….!!!!! I put on a kilo just reading that recipe….!!!! How delicious though!

    You know, I’ve got a feeling that witlof is about to become the next big thing… Even though strictly speaking it’s a Winter vegie, it seems to be becoming a little more commonly available.

    Can’t wait to get my hands on some to give this recipe a go.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. It’s a great veggie! Let me know if you like the taste of the recipe :) Thanks for stopping by!

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