This is a streamlined, simplified version of fondue without the fondue pot, without the cans of Sterno, and without the wine, cornstarch, or other supporting ingredients. You just take some cubed fontina cheese, top it with slivered garlic, thyme leaves, and olive oil, and broil until it’s melted and bubbly enough to scoop up with hunks of bread. It’s a great appetizer, and, paired with a green salad and a glass of wine, a pretty nifty lunch or dinner as well. (In fact, my writing partner, Andrew Friedman, and his wife, Caitlin, have just that for dinner at least once a week at The Red Cat’s bar.) Be sure to use an Italian fontina; the Danish varieties don’t melt right for this recipe.–Jimmy Bradley and Andrew Friedman
Baked Fontina with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Thyme Recipe
Hands-On Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Serves 4
- 1 1/2 pounds Italian fontina, soft brown rind trimmed and discarded, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sliced country bread or rolls
- 1. Preheat the broiler.
- 2. For individual servings, divide the fontina among four 6-inch cast-iron pans.
- 3. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter the garlic, thyme, and rosemary over the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. For one large pan, use a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and follow the same directions.
- 4. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 6 to 7 minutes.
- 5. Serve each person an individual pan, setting it on a trivet or napkin, or serve from the 12-inch pan set in the center of the table, with the bread alongside for dunking.
Baked Fontina with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Thyme Recipe © 2006 Jimmy Bradley. Photo © 2006 David Sawyer. All rights reserved.