This easy Baked Fontina with Herbs goes under the broiler to give you the most luscious bubbling dip. Drizzled with hot honey just before serving, it is the perfect indulgent appetizer for the holidays, or for a cold winter night.
For reasons that need no explanation, our New Year’s celebrations will be a lot less festive than previous ones. But saying goodbye to 2020 deserves more than a store-bought dip with a bag of chips. Baked cheese…can it be anything but fabulous? This baked fontina cheese with herbs then drizzled with hot honey could not be easier to throw together and is about as indulgent and luxe as an appetizer can get. A perfect reward for bearing up with all the misery 2020 threw at us.
I will always love the ease and simplicity of a cheese board. Occasionally, however, I like to serve a baked cheese concoction that is served warm and molten, especially in winter. And most especially during the holidays. Hot, savoury, with a bit of sweet heat, this almost fondue-like baked fontina dip has a zippy flavour thanks to the inclusion of fresh herbs and a good amount of garlic. Excellent with crostini, of course, but crudités are also highly recommended.
This quick, one pan cheese dip originally made famous by Ina Garten, has been a favourite of ours during the holidays for years. My apologies for not sharing the recipe sooner than the day of New Year’s Eve. But if you are able to grab a large block of Fontina cheese, the rest of the ingredients will likely be stocked in your kitchen.
To make it even more extraordinary, I like to embellish it with a drizzle of hot honey – simply divine. Then, of course, temper the bit of heat by sipping on a few glasses of Champagne or Proseco. Goodbye 2020. Hello 2021! Wishing each of you a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.
Ingredients for Baked Fontina
- Fontina cheese – Fontina is an Italian cheese made from cows milk that is great for melting. Note: The Fontina pictured in this post is Dutch as I was not able to find the Italian Fontina at my deli. It works in a pinch, but it is a little sweeter than the Italian and does not melt as well. I highly recommend seeking out an Italian Fontina.
- Herbs – Fresh chopped thyme and rosemary are fabulous in this dip. If you don’t have fresh herbs, a few good shakes of Herbs D’Provence will also work.
- Garlic – This baked cheese dip is excellent with a lot of garlic. I like it minced for even more garlicky flavour. If you prefer it less garlicky, slice, rather than mince, the garlic cloves.
- Olive oil – Ina’s original recipe calls for a whopping 1/4 cup. I use a lot less to no detriment.
- Hot honey – You can use store-bought hot honey, or you can easily make a quick one at home. A simple recipe is included in the recipe notes below.
- Salt and pepper – To taste
- Good bread – For serving, nothing is better than crisped up slices from a good artisanal baguette.
How To Make Baked Fontina
Cut the fontina cheese into 1-inch cubes and place them in a small cast iron skillet. Drizzle the fontina with olive oil and scatter with the minced garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 6 to 7 minutes. Drizzle with hot honey and serve the baked fontina immediately with slices of crusty bread or veggies.
How To Serve Baked Fontina Dip
I am only a little ashamed to admit that my husband and I devoured this bubbling dip with a copious amount of crispy crostini and called it dinner. Though it helped my guilty conscious that we also had a more virtuous radicchio and pear salad alongside.
Crostini can’t be beat to dunk into this cheesy delight. But if serving it to guests, I will also offer it with a healthier crudités platter. My favourites to include are endives, radishes, cauliflower florets, and carrots.
Other Holiday Recipes You May Like
Baked Fontina with Herbs and Hot Honey
- 1 1/2 pounds fontina cheese rind removed and 1-inch diced
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced, or thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme minced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or a pinch more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Hot honey (*see notes to make your own)
- 1 Crusty French Baguette sliced, for serving
- Place an oven rack approximatley 5 inches from the heat. Preheat the broiler on high.
- Assemble the Fontina cheese cubes in the bottom of a 8 or 9-inch cast-iron pan.
- Drizzle the fontina with olive oil and scatter with the minced garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Broil until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Drizzle hot honey over the melted cheese and serve immediately with crusty bread.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or more to taste
- pinch of salt
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