My Swiss heritage means I’m partial to fondue, particularly a traditional cheese fondue. But I’m always up for something different, particularly when it’s tomato season and heirloom tomatoes are involved.
“Sometime in your life, make this with ripe, warm-from-the-garden tomatoes and treat yourself to something spectacular!” says Cindy Pawlcyn, the Napa Valley chef who gave us her recipe for baked goat cheese and tomato fondue.
Pawlcyn’s fondue calls for two pounds of heirloom tomatoes and an aged goat cheese called Cabecou. The tomatoes are peeled and seeded and then cooked in extra virgin olive oil along with garlic and shallots. A little bit of white wine as well as dates, prunes or dried apricot are added to the pan.
The tomato sauce is then spooned into a dish and topped with the goat cheese. The dish is placed in a 500 degree Fahrenheit oven and cooked until “the top of the cheese is golden and tomato sauce is heated through, looking rich and thick,” notes Pawlcyn, who oversees three fine Napa eateries.
To serve the fondue, you can do as the Swiss do and prepare bite-sized pieces of toast: “Have your guests skewer them with fondue forks and coat them with the cheese and tomato fondue,” says Pawlcyn.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch