It's one of my favorite dishes. Braised endives wrapped in ham and lined up in a dish. Bechamel sauce smothers the whole lot, as does a healthy dose of grated cheese. Add some oven time and the result is serious comfort. Unfortunately, it comes at a serious price. Belgian endives are worth their weight in crack and never seem to go on sale; if you can find them at all. But this isn't a dish where you take short cuts. So every so often -- like say, for a dear friend's birthday -- you allow yourself a splurge.
Tell yourself it's for the greater good -- the dish doesn't just serve you. It serves a whole party. And if you're lucky there are leftovers to look forward to. Leftovers are always a value, right?