This dish is so easy to prepare. It’s simple and sumptuous, casual and composed, and the sheet pan makes it possible to relax and mingle with your guests without being tied up in the kitchen. You can have this completely prepped and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. Country bread is held together with Gruyere and thinly sliced ham and topped generously with creamy, velvety bechamel sauce. I love to serve it with a fresh salad and crunchy cornichons.
SERVINGS: 4 servings
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the milk, then increase the heat to high. Cook, whisking the whole time, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. The mixture may not bubble, but will thicken as it heats up. You should end up with about 1 1/4 cups total bechamel.
Turn off the heat and whisk in the Dijon mustard, salt, a few grinds of pepper, and grated nutmeg to taste.
Place 4 slices of the bread onto the baking sheet and spread each with 2 tablespoons of the bechamel. Top evenly with the ham and half of the cheese.
Top each with another slice of bread and spread the remaining bechamel evenly on top. Top with the remaining cheese.
Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted. Turn on the broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Garnish with chives and serve immediately