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Cheese Fondue with Fennel & Tomatoes
“The alpine cheeses in this healthy cheese fondue recipe by Laura Werlin are known for melting smoothly, which is key in a fondue. Adding vegetables brings texture and bonus nutrition, while complementing the buttery nuttiness of each cheese. To serve 12, plan to offer 6 cups of cut-up vegetables for dipping, such as steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets or strips of raw fennel and red bell pepper.”
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced fennel
1 cup diced onion
1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained well
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
10 ounces Emmentaler or Swiss cheese, shredded (3½ cups)
6 ounces Comté or Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 cups)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, gently crushed
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1¼ cups light, fruity white wine, such as dry Riesling
1Fill a fondue pot (or small slow cooker) with very hot water and set aside to warm.
2Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until any liquid evaporates, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
3Combine both cheeses, flour, fennel seeds and cayenne in a medium bowl.
4Heat wine in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Add the cheese mixture a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. Remove from heat and stir in the vegetable mixture.
5Drain and dry the fondue pot (or slow cooker). Pour in the fondue and keep warm over a low flame (or on the warm setting) to serve. Stir in a teaspoon or two of flour if your fondue starts to separate.