Mountain of Swiss fondue

By Lisa Bolton
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In North America, fondue dates back to the 60s. It evolved to include broths, oils and even chocolate. In Switzerland, it’s strictly a cheese dish originating as a hearty peasant meal that made use of the foods most readily available during the winter in the Alps—cheese, wine and bread. The addition of baby potatoes and sturdy Swiss chard stalks means this board will eat like a meal. With the weight of the bread and cheese, always serve contrast on this board; bright, crisp cornichons and plump, sweet grapes are welcome choices.

SERVES
8

Ingredients

  • Black grapes, 3 cups
  • Fresh figs, 2
  • Green apple, 1
  • Baby potatoes, 24
  • Swiss chard, 8 stalks
  • Kielbasa, 340 gram ring
  • Dried chorizo sausage, 4 small links
  • Fondue cheese blend, 567 grams
  • Swiss cheese, 284 grams
  • French loaf or baguette, 1
  • Cornichons, 16
  • Pickled onions, 16
  • Fresh thyme, for garnish
  • Pea shoots, for garnish

Directions

  1. Prepare the fruit and vegetables: Snip the grapes into clusters of four to six. Slice the figs into halves or quarters. Last minute: Core the apple and use a mandoline or very sharp knife to thinly slice it.
  2. Steam the potatoes until fork-tender. Trim the leaves off the chard stalks and cut each into two long stalks.
  3. Slice the French loaf into bite-size cubes.
  4. Prepare the other components (except the cheese) in bite- sized pieces and arrange everything on and around your board.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, melt the fondue cheese blend and Swiss cheese in a small pot over low heat and avoid stirring. When the cheese is fully melted, pour it into a fondue pot and light the flame or tealight. Retain any excess cheese on the stove off the heat and repeat the process to replenish as the fondue pot depletes.

TIPS

If you want to attempt a homemade cheese blend, you’ll need a mix of Swiss and Gruyère, white wine, dry mustard and cornstarch to get you started. While the Swiss don’t commonly fondue much more than cheese, you could easily turn this into a full-on fondue party by adding an oil or broth fondue and some raw proteins.

*Kirsch is traditional Swiss brandy that pairs well with a rich fondue.

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