Which side dishes work best with fondue? Cheese fondue is delicious and indulgent, so side dishes must be light, cutting through the richness: grilled asparagus or sautéed kale. Refreshing salads are spinach and apple, cucumber slaw, roasted broccoli, and radish, or a fruit platter. For a 70s vibe, serve cheese straws and devilled eggs.
Because a cheese fondue is little more than a pot of melted cheese, it is high in fat. Choose sides that contrast with this luxurious meal and give your guests a break from dipping. Here are the best sides for cheese fondue.
Air Fryer Asparagus
A decadent cheese fondue needs fresh, green sides to refresh the palate. Green asparagus is a quick and healthy side dish made even quicker by using your air fryer.
Start with about a pound of fresh asparagus, and remove the woody ends.
Toss the asparagus with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Heat the air fryer to 400⁰F (200⁰C) and place batches of asparagus in single layers in the basket. Each batch will take seven minutes to tenderize.
Finally, squeeze over a little lemon juice and serve with extra lemon wedges.
Kale, unlike spinach, holds its texture when cooked, so it makes a delicious, leafy side dish. The delicate cabbage flavor of sautéed kale stands up to the smooth sharpness of cheese fondue.
Kale needs simple handling, and this tasty sautée showcases the vegetable well.
Start by washing and coarsely chopping 1½ pounds of young kale.
Next, heat three tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add three cloves of minced garlic and cook until soft – do not let the garlic brown, or else it will become bitter.
Increase the heat to high and add ½ cup of vegetable stock and the kale. Toss to combine.
Cover the saucepan and simmer the kale.
After five minutes, remove the lid and, stirring continually, cook the kale until all the liquid has evaporated.
Season the kale with salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of red wine vinegar.
Spinach And Apple Salad
This delicious salad adds sweetness and acidity to balance the indulgent cheese. The dressing is poured over the salad while hot, wilting the spinach and allowing the sharp vinegar and onion to shine through.
Your first step is to fry six bacon strips until crisp. Remove the bacon from the skillet, but reserve two tablespoons of bacon fat in the warm pan.
To the bacony skillet, add ¼ cup of cider vinegar and three tablespoons of brown sugar. Bring the dressing to a boil and cook until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, combine nine cups of fresh baby spinach, two thinly sliced red apples, and ¾ cup of finely chopped red onion in a salad bowl.
Drizzle the salad with the warm dressing and serve immediately.
Cucumber slaw replaces cabbage with crisp cucumber and mayonnaise with a zingy vinaigrette. Unlike other slaws, this is best dressed just before serving.
Begin by setting out a large salad bowl.
Then, julienne three cucumbers, coarsely chop two cups of arugula and dice a cup of fresh snow peas. Add them to the bowl with ½ cup of sliced, toasted almonds and a cup of dried cranberries.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together ⅓ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of sparkling wine vinegar, a teaspoon of lime juice, 1½ teaspoons of molasses, and a teaspoon of sugar.
Next, seed and mince a serrano pepper.
Add the chili to the dressing with a tablespoon of minced fresh basil, 1 ½ teaspoons of minced fresh mint, a crushed clove of garlic, ¾ teaspoon of grated lime zest, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Toss the dressing through the salad.
Roasted Broccoli And Radish Salad
Broccoli and radish are common salad vegetables. For this heavenly salad, you first roast them to bring out their sweetness and tenderness, complementing the creamy fondue.
Preheat your oven to a sizzling 400⁰F (200⁰C).
Prepare three cups of broccoli florets. Chop 1 ½ cups of radishes into eighths.
Now, cover a baking sheet with foil. Toss the vegetables on the sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake the veg for 10 to 15 minutes until the broccoli chars, and the radishes are tender-crisp.
Meanwhile, rehydrate ¼ cup of golden raisins in warm water.
Combine the broccoli, radishes, drained raisins, and ½ cup of diced red onion to make the salad.
The dressing combines a tablespoon of lemon juice, a tablespoon of rice vinegar, a minced garlic clove, a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint, ½ teaspoon of grainy mustard, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Dress the salad and serve.
A plate of beautifully presented fresh and dried fruit and nuts makes a delightful side for a communal dish like a fondue. Guests can either dip their fruit or enjoy it as a tart contrast.
Making a fruit platter is a matter of slicing your fruit and laying it out attractively. Here are some ideas for your platter.
Halve ten strawberries, eight dried figs, a medium mango, and two kiwi fruit. Slice the mango and kiwi halves.
Thinly slice two small oranges and 12 ounces of watermelon to add to the platter.
You can include ½ cup of fresh blueberries, a cup of fresh blackberries, 1½ cups of seedless grapes, ½ cup of banana chips, and ½ cup of plain almonds.
Serve with a tub of mascarpone and a small pot of honey.
Keeping with the cheese theme, these crisp, crunchy cheese straws are an excellent snack for your guests before the fondue begins or cleanse the palate between dipping. They’re also effortless to make.
Begin by preheating your oven to a moderate 350⁰F (180⁰C).
In a large mixing bowl, beat ½ cup of softened butter until light and fluffy. Toss in two cups of grated Cheddar cheese and mix well.
In a separate bowl, combine 1¼ cups of flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of mustard powder, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Next, combine the dry ingredients with the cheese mixture to form a stiff dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a 15×6 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 30 six-inch strips.
Lay the strips on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned (15-20 minutes).
Cool on wire racks. Store only once completely cool.
If you’re going with a seventies-theme evening for your fondue, deviled eggs must be on the menu. This old-fashioned recipe is simple and popular. Here’s what to do.
You’ll need at least six hard-boiled eggs, cooled and rinsed under cold water.
Carefully peel the eggs under running water, taking care not to break the whites. Gently dry the eggs on paper towels.
Next, carefully slice the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks, which you can place in a separate bowl.
Mash the yolks until smooth, with ¼ cup of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of white vinegar, one teaspoon of sweet mustard, ⅛ teaspoon of salt, and a dash of freshly ground black pepper.
Stuff the waiting egg white halves with the yolk mixture. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and chill the eggs before serving.
Best Wine Pairings For Cheese Fondue
With the richness of cheese fondue, you will need a wine that is high in acid, with little or no oak, and refreshing coolness.
Dry white wines like a zingy Picpoul de Pinet are ideal with lip-stinging acidity and citrus flavors.
A herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc is another good choice, as it goes well with strong cheese. A dry Riesling or Sancerre will also taste fantastic with cheese fondue.
You could also choose a light red for a bracing combination – an unusual Marcillac is delicious if you can find it, or go for a simple Beaujolais with berry notes.
For a 70s-style fondue party, you’ll want to start with retro cocktails, so martinis and Manhattans will be fun, as will a pale, dry sherry like Fino.
Complement a cheese fondue by enjoying a German lager, Saison-style ale, or even a crisp apple cider.
The Best Dippers For Cheese Fondue
Although the cheese is the star of the fondue, a successful fondue party needs a variety of tasty dippers or items to dip into the fondue.
Because the dippers won’t have time to cook in the hot cheese, you need to ensure that everything is precooked as necessary.
Here are some ideas for cheese fondue dippers:
Bread is the traditional dipper for cheese fondue, usually a soft and crusty French loaf. Toast slices gently and then cut them into large cubes.
Other kinds of bread are also delicious: what about a sourdough, everything bagels, or pumpkin bread?
Vegetables are also a popular and healthy dipper, adding texture and crunch to the fondue. Steam some fresh green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli florets for dipping.
You can also serve roast baby potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and zucchini.
The best meat dippers are chunks of cured sausages, such as kielbasa, pepperoni, and salami. Their saltiness melds with the cheese beautifully.