I came to the realization a few years ago that ultimately (except for the rare person like my friend Alison), most people just want warm chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I could make something fancy like panna cotta or pavlova and that would be nice, but we are basically just children and we just want our warm chocolate chip cookies. The same goes for appetizers. Sure, there are a myriad of dishes that would impress, but most of us are just hoping for melted cheese and bread. In some configuration. Any configuration.
And that’s where cheese dip comes in. The French call it fondue (obvs), in Spanish speaking cultures it fundito, and in Italian it’s fonduta. I didn’t think many of you would be interested in a recipe called fonduta so I went with “cheese dip”. Always a win.
This one is super SUPER easy. It’s just shredded cheese, herbs and walnuts. The honey gives it that something extra, so don’t skip it. Obviously this is the sort of recipe you’d rather serve at your own house (oven necessary), but I always just text my friends when I’m on the way over and tell them to heat their oven for me – this cooks so quickly I’d recommend prepping it at home, baking it there and bringing your honey bear along for the ride.
Italian Cheese Dip with Walnuts and Honey
1/2 lb. shredded provolone or Fontina cheese
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/3 c. roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
Honey, for drizzling
1 baguette, sliced (crostini*) or GF crackers
- Heat oven to 400 degrees (can also heat a grill). In an 8 inch skillet (cast iron is ideal) or similar small oven-safe pan, place grated cheese.
- Top with herbs and walnuts. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fully melted and started to bubble. Remove and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.
*to make crostini, thinly slice a baguette. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a baking sheet not overlapping. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and brush with the cut side of a garlic cloves. Store at room temperature until ready to eat.