What to Serve with Fondue

Comte Fondue (A Swiss-Style Fondue Made with a Great French Cheese)

Americans often serve fondue as an appetizer, but it’s better as the anchor to a meal. Here’s a fondue menu, including my favorite things to serve with fondue.

(By the way: Here’s my recipe for fondue.)

Apéritifs/Nibbles/Hors d’Oeuvres: In that mingle-and-sip stretch of time before everyone sits down to the table, a few simple nibbles will do. Obviously, since cheese will be the star of the main course, you don’t want to set out a tray of cheeses here.

But don’t straight-jacket yourself and assume that nothing you serve as apps can have cheese in it! That’s like assuming you can only use salt or pepper in one dish. Therefore, go ahead and serve some gougères or other small bites, such as filled puff pastry bites (I have quite a few in my book). A few nuts and olives would be nice, too.

See my recipe for Gougères.

Main Course: What to Serve with Fondue

Set the big pot of fondue in the middle of the table, alongside the dippers (toasted bread is obligatory; apples or pears are optional if you’re not serving a fruit dessert). To round out the meal set out:

• A simple green salad with a sprightly vinaigrette (see my recipe for vinaigrette)
• A platter of cured meats such as wonderful American prosciutto from La Quercia
• Cute little cornichon pickles. There’s something in the tartness and crunch of these cuties that really contrast the rich cheese beautifully.

Dessert: No More Fondue Already!

Who ever got the idea of serving chocolate fondue after serving cheese fondue? Haven’t we dunked and swirled and popped enough gooey things in our mouths? A great meal offers a variety of textures and sensations. Therefore, skip the chocolate fondue and go for a fruit dessert. A favorite from my book is the Pear Tarte Tatin, though if you want to go shopping for other great fruit dessert recipes, see David Lebovitz’s wonderful pinterest board.

What Wine to Serve with Fondue

I tend to prefer red wine over white wine with fondue, and I’m partial to fruity wines here. Beaujolais cru, merlot, and New World Pinots always do the trick. If your crowd loves white wine, you can’t go wrong with a good white Burgundy.

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