When I was a young mom living outside Boston, I frequented Wasik’s Cheese Shop in Wellesley, MA for many of my entertaining needs. The proprietor was full of personality and personally helped me (and all of his customers) pair the perfect platter with the meal I was serving. During the holidays, the line was out the door and down the block!
One Christmas he gave me a typed-up copy of his favorite fondue recipe, complete with his personal written notes. I’ve used his delicious recipe ever since. The following is Wasik’s fondue, with a few of my own tweaks and changes.
By strategically choosing your dippers you can make this a healthy and creative starter. If your gathering includes dairy-free and vegan friends, this clearly will not work for them. So, I recommend you offer a dairy free dip as an alternative. For local purveyors, I recommend checking out Cured or Le Frigo in Boulder. Enjoy!
¼ lb. shredded Emmental
½ lb. shredded Gruyere
¼ lb. shredded Appenzeller
1 clove fresh garlic cut in half
1 ½ c dry white wine (I like sauvignon blanc)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 T arrowroot starch
3 T kirsch
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t paprika
Rub cooking pot generously with cut garlic then add lemon juice. Add wine and bring to a gentle simmer. Add shredded cheese by the handfuls, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted. Bring cheese to a low boil, then stir in seasonings. In a small separate bowl, mix arrowroot starch with Kirsch. Add to cheese mixture and allow to boil for another 30 seconds, and then reduce heat. Keep hot over low burner while serving. Serves 6-8.
Cheese fondue is traditionally served with fresh baguette pieces, crackers and dried meats. For my guests, I use fresh vegetables (and fruit!), gerkins and my easy chickpea bread. The chickpea bread only has five ingredients and it goes great with the cheese. Your guests won’t miss the white bread, I promise!
1 cup white mushrooms, trimmed and cut in half
1 cup broccoli florets, cut in bite sized pieces
1 cup of raw carrots, peeled and cut
1 jar of gherkins, drained and patted dry
1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 cup of red grapes
Easy Chickpea bread, cut into square pieces
Place all of your dippers on a platter next to your fondue pot. If you’re using a pot on the stove, pull the platter up right next to it. Since this is a starter, I recommend using extra long toothpicks or festive sticks rather then using traditional fondue spears. Serves 6-8.