If you didn't find an easy cheesy appetizer that looked delicious, I have one more suggestion: pecorino fondata. This baked Italian cheese dish is incredibly uncomplicated to prepare; you simply toss cubed cheese with chopped hazelnuts and fresh thyme, then bake till it's melted and gooey. The most difficult thing about this fondue-like appetizer is finding the right kind of cheese. I recommend heading to a local cheese shop or more high-end grocer like Whole Foods. Ask the cheesemonger for a young soft pecorino with a good melting quality. Serve with crisp crostini or crunchy crackers and a glass of sparkling wine. Ready for the recipe?
8 ounces young soft pecorino cheese (it should be less than 3 years of age), diced into cubes
3 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Honey, for drizzling
Toasted bread, crostini, or crackers for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, toss the cheese with the nuts, red pepper flakes, and thyme leaves. Transfer the mixture to an oven-safe serving dish.
- Bake for 12-15 minute until the cheese is melted and bubbling and just starting to brown.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of honey. Serve with the bread, crostini, or crackers immediately.
- Dips, Appetizers