With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, I have been thinking about appetizers and finger food. I ran across a recipe the other day that would be perfect if you are going to have a New Year’s Eve party at your house. It is a gooey, melty cheese dip that you serve warm with either crackers or bread pieces. It is perfect for cold winter nights. If you have a small cast iron skillet, that works well to keep the dip hot, but a smaller baking dish would work just fine, too. Because of the fresh herbs on top, the flavors of thyme and rosemary are very intense, which is what makes it so delicious. I found out it makes a good dinner on a Saturday night, too, when you don’t feel like cooking. So even if you’re not having a party, you will love this warm and comforting appetizer.
MELTED FONTINA CHEESE DIP APPETIZER
1 1/2 lbs. Fontina cheese, rind removed and 1-inch-diced
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp. salt
- crackers or french baguette torn into small pieces
- Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.
- Distribute the cubes of Fontina evenly in a 12-inch or 2 6-inch cast-iron pans, or small baking dish.
- Drizzle on the olive oil.
- Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Serve the baked Fontina family style, right out of the oven with crusty chunks of bread or crackers for everyone to dip.
Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa 2010 on Foodnetwork.com