Despite the fact that we’ve eked out every possible last bit of summer this year — extra trips to the beach, extended sandal-wearing, and more ice cream cones on bonus warm, sunny days — fall‘s come anyway, and here we are at Halloween. Which means we’re all wanting comfort food. When I asked the kids this morning if we should turn our CSA share butternut squash into soup for tonight, they said, “Yes, Yes! We’ve never seen squash turn into soup before!” (It’s roasting in the oven right now.)
We have a couple of dinner get-togethers coming up, so we’re on the lookout for yummy-sounding-but-simple fall dishes, and have been perusing Ina Garten‘s new (and unfortunately-titled) Barefoot Contessa cookbook, “How Easy Is That?” Lots of tempting recipes. But I’m obsessing over her baked Fontina, which sounds easy and utterly delish. I can see us bringing it to the table in our cast-iron skillet and having everyone (kids included) dig in with hunks of crusty baguette.
Shouldn’t everyone have this in their near future?
Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Fontina
Serves 4 – 6
Ina says “It’s like a fondue in a cast-iron pot — you throw everything in and it’s ready in six minutes.” (Don’t hate me, but, how easy is that?)
1 1/2 pounds Italian Fontina, rind removed and 1-inch-diced
1/4 cup good olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty French baguette
Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.
Distribute the cubes of Fontina evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle on the olive oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.
Serve the baked Fontina family-style — right out of the oven in the pan with bread for everyone to dip.