Baked Fontina Herb Dip

by Shayla Ebsen

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Some days, especially chilly autumn days, are improved with fresh artisan bread dipped in gooey, cheesy appetizers. Accompany those appetizers with a glass of white wine and I’m home. This baked fontina herb dip certainly improved my outlook this past weekend and I hope it achieves the same end for you.

The lovely Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa deserves credit for developing the original version of this recipe. Her version includes thyme and rosemary as the dip’s herbs. Since I only enjoy rosemary on specific occasions, I experimented with a different herb blend. My version includes basil, parsley and oregano blended with a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake this fontina dip next weekend and I guarantee the family will come running. The blend of herbs and cheese bubbling in a cast iron skillet fills the home with an irresistible aroma. It’s the perfect game day appetizer or, if you’re like me and aren’t into football, it’s even more enjoyable against the background of oldies tunage on Pandora.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fontina cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 loaf artisan bread for dipping

Preparing the baked fontina herb dip:

  1. Position an oven rack to the highest placement. Preheat oven on broiler setting.
  2. Remove the rind from the fontina cheese and cut the cheese into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Arrange the cheese cubes in the bottom of a small cast iron skillet.
  4. Combine the basil, parsley, oregano, olive oil, salt and black pepper in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle the mixture over the cheese in the cast iron skillet.
  5. Place the skillet in the oven and broil for 6 to 10 minutes or until the fontina cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve with fresh or toasted artisan bread.

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