8 x heads of chicory, stalks removed and sliced in half, lengthways
4 x leeks, halved lengthways, and cut into 10cm / 4 in. lengths
4 x shallots, sliced
200gr / 7 oz. of sliced ham
Salt and pepper
For the Cheese Sauce
3 x large garlic cloves chopped finely
40gr / 1.4oz. plain flour
40gr / 1.4oz. unsalted butter
500ml / 1pt. skimmed milk (half fat)
250gr / 8.5 oz. strong cheese like mature cheddar or aged Gouda, grated
Salt to taste (if needed)
For the Crumble Topping
100gr / 3.5 oz. plain flour
100gr / 3.5 oz. whole meal flour
100gr / 3.5 oz. unsalted butter
100gr / 3.5 oz. parmesan, grated plus about an extra handful of grated parmesan to sprinkle over the top of the bake.
2 x tbsp fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp of salt
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
Place the chicory, leeks and shallots in a roasting tray. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, mix through and place in the oven for about 20 minutes (check after 15) or until the vegetables have browned and give little resistance to the tip of a sharp knife.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting you can prepare the cheese sauce and the crumble. To make the cheese sauce.
Melt the butter on a medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Not a non-stick pan.
Add the garlic and let it cook for about a minute until it softens a little. Try not to let it brown as it will affect the colour of your dish and may become bitter in flavour.
Add the flour and mix it into the butter using a metal whisk. The flour will take up all the butter and turn into a blob, almost like dough.
Add about 1/3 of the milk and whisk vigorously. It will be a bit lumpy at first, but don’t worry, it will become smooth if you keep whisking.
Then add the next third of the milk and whisk through until it becomes smooth and then the last third. Leave it to cook on a low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring your smooth sauce with a wooden spoon.
Then add the grated cheese and allow it to melt, stirring occasionally.
Check for seasoning and add some salt if needed.
And then to make the crumble.
In a large bowl, mix the two types of flour and butter together by rubbing it through your fingers until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Then, with a metal spoon stir through the parmesan, thyme and salt.
The last stage is to build the vegetable bake. Add a little salt and pepper to your vegetables and mix through, taste to check the seasoning is correct. Pour your vegetables from their roasting tray into an oven proof dish. Shred the ham and spread it over the vegetables. Pour the cheese sauce over, evenly. Then sprinkle over your crumble, also evenly, and then the parmesan over the top.
The bake should then return to the oven (200°C / 400°F) and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping has browned and become crispy.