Take a Dip: Gruyère Cheese Fondue with Thyme

This firm, pale yellow cheese with a slightly sweet, rich nutty flavor is named for the Swiss valley where it originates.

| December/January 1999

 Serves 6 

You could use another Swiss cheese that has been aged for about a year or Jarlsberg instead.

• 4 cups coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 3/4 pound)
• 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
• 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
• 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
• 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• Salt to taste

1. Dippers: bread cubes, radishes, celery, spring onions, fennel bulb (sliced lengthwise about 3/8 inch thick, then sliced down the middle), mushrooms, bell peppers, slightly steamed carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and/or asparagus

2. Toss the cheese and flour in a bowl to blend.

3. Heat the wine with the garlic, thyme, mustard, and a little pepper over medium heat until it barely comes to a ­simmer. Continue to heat for a few ­minutes; do not boil. Whisk in a few handfuls of cheese, then gradually stir in the remainder until all the cheese is melted and just begins to bubble. Add salt to taste.

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