Baked Fontina Cheese Fondue








1 1/2 pounds Italian Fontina cheese, rind removed and 1-inch dice*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 baguette bread (French or sourdough bread), sliced into 1/4-inch slices

* Purchase Italian Fontina cheese – not Danish as it is not as creamy and won’t melt as well.

Preheat your oven broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat source.

Distribute the cubes of Fontina cheese evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the cheese.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic slices, minced thyme, and minced rosemary; sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling, and just starts to brown. Remove from oven.

Tip: Don’t heat the cheese beyond its melting point as cheese tends to ball up at higher temperatures. Also don’t let the cheese cool down too much before serving, as it tends to get stringier and tougher as it cools.

Serve the Fontina Fondue family-style (right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan) with baguette bread slices for everyone to dip. You may have to reheat the fondue on low occasionally to keep it melted and smooth.

For individual servings, divide the fondue among four 6-inch cast-iron pans.

Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 15 min
Fondue cook time: 6 min