Comtè Cheese Fondue with Peas and Pancetta

August 7, 2023

The recipe is inspired by a dish I tried during our recent travels, where we stopped in the Jura region in France for a night. I enjoyed this entree so much, that I tried to replicate it, in a slightly simplified form at home. Whilst Comtè cheese, native to the area, is fairly easy to be found, the Jura wine may not be. Instead, I like to add Riesling wine to the cheese fondue, but you could alway try a different white wine, as long as it has some more character to it.

Serves 4 as an appetiser:

  • 130 g Comtè cheese, coarsely grated
  • 50 g of Riesling wine
  • a small knob of butter, about 10-15 g
  • frozen sweet peas, a handful per person
  • 70 g of pancetta, cut into lardons (rind removed)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • some lemon zest to serve

In a little pan, on a medium heat, heat up a few drops of olive oil and add the pancetta lardons.

Fry gently on a medium to low heat for about 10 minutes (depending on size of your lardons), stirring occasionally, until the fat has melted and the lardons turn crisp and dark golden in colour.

Keep warm on a side until needed.

Melt the butter in a little saucepan and pour in the wine, cook on a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the grated cheese along with a pinch of salt and cook everything gently stirring all the while, until the Comtè has melted and all the ingredients turned into a sauce.

In the meantime bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the peas and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they to turn just tender. Be careful not to overcook them.

Drain and run under cold water for a second.

Pour evenly the warm Comtè cheese fondu into separate soup plates or little bowls.

Next add the peas on top and scatter the pancetta lardons all over (I like to drizzle the melted fat as well, as it carries so much flavour).

Decorate with grated lemon zest, which adds freshness to the dish, and season with some black pepper.

Serve immediately, preferably  with a crunchy baguette.