Have you seen the episode of The Barefoot Contessa where Ina Garten visits a restaurant in New York City and orders Baked Fontina? It is one of my favorites! I still recall how cheesy and delicious the dish looked. I made it myself the same day, but the recipe makes much more than we can eat. Inspired by Ina's recipe, my Baked Fontina Cheese Appetizer for Two is modified for two generous servings, or three if you must. To truly make it my own, I also added a bit of heat.
This Fontina cheese dip is super simple to put together, it looks gorgeous, and pairs well with a glass of wine. Delipair recommends a California White Chardonnay as its top pick for pairing with Baked Fontina.
How easy is that? Who wants a boring cheese plate when you can have one of the best Italian recipes with melted cheese?
- Fontina cheese
- Ina recommends using a specific Italian Fontina cheese, but I picked up a nice mid-priced creamy Fontina cheese available at most grocery stores, BelGioioso Fontina Cheese Wedge, at $1.01 per ounce.
- Fontina's mild flavor from cow's milk reminds me of the nutty flavor of Gruyere cheese.
- There are other kinds of cheese that can be baked but make sure that the cheese you choose is a good melting cheese.
- Olive oil
- Use good extra virgin olive oil for the best results. This is not the time to use everyday olive oil.
- Garlic cloves
- Thinly sliced is best, but minced works as well
- Fresh thyme leaves - fresh herbs are highly recommended for this dish.
- Fresh rosemary leaves
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Freshly ground is best for this recipe
- Crushed red pepper
- Hot sauce
- Use your favorite. I love Cholula sauce, especially in an egg or cheese recipe.
- French baguette or other crusty bread with small holes to hold onto the melty cheese.
Instructions for Baked Fontina Appetizer For Two:
- Cube the Fontina cheese and place the cubes of Fontina in a cast iron skillet. I used a 6-inch cast iron skillet.
- Top it with garlic, rosemary, and thyme.
- Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
- Drizzle with "good" olive oil.
- Pop the whole thing under the broiler for six minutes until the cheese is a smooth texture, is bubbly and golden brown.
- While the cheese is piping hot, splash a little hot sauce on top.
- Serve immediately, scooped up with crusty French bread.
The next time you like sharing a hot bubbly caldron of melted cheese with someone special, this new cheese is for you. The dramatic cheese pull is worth the little bit of effort it takes to make my Baked Fontina Appetizer For Two!
Baked Fontina Appetizer For Two
- 6" cast iron skillet The advantage of using a cast iron skillet is the ability to quickly warm the dish on the stovetop if it starts to lose its ooey gooeyness.
- Substitute frying pan that is approved for use under the broiler
- 8 ounces Italian Cheese
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves chopped or thinly sliced (recommend thinly sliced)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves minced
- ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground black pepper or crushed red pepper (recommend combination of the two)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 ounces French baguette Crusty French Baguette
- Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 6" from the heat.
- Cut the Fontina cheese into ¾" cubes. Place the cubes evenly in the bottom of a 6-inch cast-iron skillet.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
- Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the garlic and herbs evenly over the cheese and olive oil in the skillet.
- Sprinkle the salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper over the cubes of cheese and place the skillet under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown on top.
- When the cheese is perfectly meltd, remove it from the oven and add a few drops of hot sauce.
- Serve the baked Fontina appetizer for two straight out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with chunks of crusty bread for dipping.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
Beautiful and so delicious looking!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Please join us again this week!
Chrystal @ YUM eating says
Wow. I love cheese. It's my chocolate. I also love making stuff in my cast iron skillets. Win! Thanks for linking at The Yuck Stops Here to help #stoptheyuck. Hope to see you again this week.
Omg. Is this real life?! I'm drooling!!!! Pinned and cannot wait to try this out! Found you at The Yuck Stops Here and SO glad I did!
Thanks Alyce, Chaya, and Ansh! I am already looking forward to next month's Ina Friday!
Alyce Morgan says
I'm a bit late--sorry! This looks so good; I've seen the episode where Ina eats this at the restaurant. I'm thinking I might try it on the grill as my oven is about to be gone for 2-3 months while my my kitchen is renovated. Great pics. (Love the chicks, too!)
This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing:)
Such wonderful cheesiness. I love it.
Ooohh that cheese is calling me. What a gorgeous post! And I love that you used "good" olive oil. Love it when Ina says that ..
[email protected] and Back Again says
Oh my, that looks delicious! I can see enjoying it for supper one evening, perhaps with a few cut up veggies to dip into the cheesy goodness.
Veggies would be great. I think Ina recommends celery sticks. Enjoy!
What a beautiful post! And what an elegant appetizer! I would love a taste of that right now! Have a good weekend.
Thanks so much! I hope you have a good weekend as well.
Mary, how divine! Gooey and herby. Absolutely love this, have never tried it. Fontina is such a super melting cheese. Wouldn't this be great for the football watching crowd!
It sure would, minus the football! Thanks for visiting and commenting.
This has always tempted me. So luscious with all that cheesy goodness. I love Ina Fridays.
I can verify that it was indeed luscious cheesy goodness. Thanks for visiting!