Cheese fondue with pesto
Makes 1 cup
When cooking with cheese, it's important to melt it over low heat. Adding an acidic ingredient, such as wine, also will help to keep the cheese from becoming stringy. For speedy preparation of this dish, purchase premade basil pesto available in most supermarkets. Choose from the suggestions for foods to dip in the hot, savory mixture, which is a classic dish of Swiss origin.
¾ cup (3 ounces) finely shredded fontina cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup (3 ounces) finely shredded Swiss cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (1 ounce) finely shredded Romano cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, halved
½ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Kirsch
2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
Bite-size chunks of French bread or breadsticks and vegetables, such as blanched broccoli florets, blanched cauliflower florets, and cherry tomatoes for dipping
Toss together the three cheeses and the flour in a medium bowl.
Rub the garlic on the bottom and sides of a 1 ½-quart nonstick saucepan. Add the wine; warm over medium heat just until small bubbles rise to the surface. Reduce the heat to low; add the cheese about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly; make certain each addition melts before adding more. Stir in the Kirsch.
Transfer the mixture to a small earthenware fondue dish; keep warm over low heat. Spoon the pesto in a spiral pattern on top of the cheese mixture.
Serve with bowls or platters of the foods for dipping.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.