It's not as crazy as it sounds, gathering 'round a small melting pot this time of year. Set it up on the deck or balcony, conjure evening breezes and have a sociable meal. The combination of wine, cheese and fresh herbs suits just about any vegetable medley that might come off the grill: chunks of zucchini or rustic bread, red bell pepper strips or roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, and, of course, juicy cherry tomatoes (all the vegetables lightly coated with olive oil to start). The fondue mixture can cook while the accompaniments are over the flame or under the broiler.
Serve with a glass of Chianti, a dry Italian rose or zinfandel.
Servings: 2.5 cups
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup pinot grigio
- 1 pound freshly grated young pecorino cheese
- 6 leaves basil
Combine the garlic and wine in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cheese a half-cup at a time, stirring, until melted. Either tear the basil leaves into fine shreds or place the leaves in a stack, roll them up into a tight cylinder and cut into very thin slices, or chiffonade. Add 2 tablespoons of the basil strips to the fondue and mix well; transfer to a warmed fondue pot. Serve immediately, with accompaniments for dipping.
Adapted from the upcoming "Fondue," by Lenny Rice and Brigid Callinan (Ten Speed Press, September 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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