A Crowd Pleasing Appetizer & A Food Truck

Appetizers, Indulge, Recipes, The Best Of

On Sunday I posted this picture:

We were headed to the Food Truck Festival and I was beside myself. Stout, as you can see, was already tired. But like I was saying, Food. Trucks. I love them.

We were prepared to wait in a long traffic line. Jeremy brought snacks to hold us over. We knew we might be waiting an hour to get in.

But after waiting for about 45 minutes we saw quite the exodus of cars coming from the direction of the festival. Then we heard people shouting out their windows, “Go home!”

And that just about put me into a state of comatose. I quickly found the food truck FB page and saw that not only were people waiting in traffic but once they got into the festival they were waiting for up to two hours to get food from the food trucks.

We did not have that many snacks in tow.

But wait – it gets worse. Most of the food trucks were OUT. OF. FOOD.

We made the decision to turn around. Because, no food.

We were going to pick something up to take home but nothing sounded as good as the food that was at that festival. And then I remembered I had some fontina cheese at home.

It turns out that when I become greatly discouraged and a little sad I only need some cheese and life will be better.

So, baked fontina. I posted this recipe over one year ago but I wanted to re-post it and I wanted to tell this new story. So, for those of you who forgot about it, like me – you’re welcome.

For those of you have never heard of it. I mean. Your life will change.

Since making this for the first time I have made it for lunch gatherings and served it as an appetizer.

It’s the perfect lunch for about 4 people or as an appetizer for 8-10.

You can assemble it and then wait to pop it into the oven when your guests arrive.

The best part is how delicious it is. I generally serve this dish right next to where I am prepping food because EVERYONE WANTS TO EAT IT. So all the people come stand next to me. And I love being by the people. ENERGY.

Here is a video of me bringing it together!

crowd pleasing appetizer: baked fontina

In a cast iron we throw in cubed fontina, fresh herbs, so. much. garlic (6 cloves), salt and pepper and olive oil.

This dish has to be served right out of the oven so the cheese is bubbly hot and it only takes about 6 minutes under the broiler.

Before guests:

After guests arrive:

Jeremy has asked that I stop just eating it with a spoon. I told him that because I do not think this is a make or break in the marital sense I will continue with my right to eat melty cheese by the spoonful.

Moving on. You can also serve a spread of veggies for optimal cheese dipping. Carrots, broccoli, snow peas, crusty baguette if you so choose (and yes, we choose).

Whatever veggies you have on hand. In fact, I make this when I notice there is a surplus of veggies in the refrigerator that are about to go bad.

Look. At. This. Cheese.

How can you be sad when you are eating this?

I nearly forgot about the Food Truck debacle while eating this but then I had to write this post, which led me to relive the experience. How do you not have enough food at a FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL?

Errrr….more pictures of melty cheese to bring me off the edge please.

We took our bounty out to the front porch.

And we tried to talk but we just kept shoving our mouths with cheese.

Look how happy Jeremy is:

I hope you make it this week. Because, yum! Good feelings and good tastes all around. Tell me what you serve yours with!


Baked Fontina

  • Author: Ina Garten
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 21 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds Italian Fontina Val d’Aosta cheese, 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
  • Spread of veggies


  1. Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat.
  2. 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.
  3. Serve the baked Fontina family-style-right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread and a veggie spread for everyone to dip.


  • Serving Size: 1

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  1. Kris Camealy says:

    LOVE THIS, Bri. And seriously–out of food at a food truck festival? How crazy!!

  2. Charissa says:

    Hey Bri,
    I want to try this recipe and am looking for a new cast iron skillet. Which one are you using here?

    • Bri McKoy says:

      Hi Charissa! I am using one from Le Creuset (if you google “Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet” you will find all the places to buy them!). Williams Sonoma usually has great deals on cast iron skillets during and after the holidays! Miss you. xoxo

  3. Marilyn says:

    I made it for New Year’s Day when my son and his girlfriend came over. It was delicious and gone in minutes! We liked it with green apple,  broccoli  and Carr’s crackers.

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