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The escarole we used came from our kitchen garden, therefore it was super fresh but there was a lot of sand in it. RINSE the escarole very well and make sure it's dried using the salad spinner. CHOP the escarole in thin pieces and set aside.
PEEL the onion and garlic cloves and chop them as fine as possible. HEAT a little bit of olive oil in the large skillet and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the escarole little by little, you'll notice you can add the next batch very soon.
Add the curry powder and diced ham and season with pepper and salt. PLACE the cooked escarole in a colander, to get rid of most of the moisture so the oven dish won't be too mushy.
PRE-HEAT the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Now we're going to create a bechamel sauce, with the addition of cheese.
MELT the butter in one of the medium-sized pans and wait until the bubbles have disappeared, the butter shouldn't be browned at all. Add the flour all at once and stir well with a wooden spoon.
Let it cook for a few minutes, otherwise, the sauce will taste a bit like flour. The butter and flour mixture is called a roux and is used as a thickening agent. Let the roux cool off a bit.
Meanwhile, heat milk and bay leaves in the second medium-sized pan, don't let it come to a boil. As soon as the milk is hot enough, ADD it little by little to the roux. Keep on mixing with a whisk to prevent it from creating lumps and burning.
After only a few minutes, you'll notice the sauce is thickening. STIR in a large handful of cheese and season with pepper and salt. DIVIDE the escarole over the oven dish and then divide the bechamel sauce equally over the top.
Finish it off with the rest of the cheese and BAKE in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is beautifully golden brown. Try this amazing and simple oven dish with plain cooked pasta, delicious! Enjoy!