Brie Fondue with Lemon Balm Pesto

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July last night! Dave and I had a wonderful time in a nearby city that hosts a First Friday festival every first Friday of the month. We spent some time at a great place called Grapes in a Glass trying different wine flights. We can't wait to go back to this place. When we started dating we made a list of restaurants in the area that we want to try and this one was on the list -- they carry the food menu of the place next door, also on our list. Overall it was a wonderful 4th and we have more plans tonight that include fireworks. 

This post is the first in a series of five recipes that I made while in New Hampshire. The concept comes from a recipe I made a few years ago on New Year's Eve, but otherwise, the ingredients and preparation are totally different. The photos in this one are from three different photographers -- Dave, Dave's mom and me.

Brie is one of my favorite cheeses, my favorite way to enjoy it is grilled (yes, you can grill the whole wheel of brie). This fondue is made in the crock pot to make everything much easier.

A Vegetarian & Cooking original! 

-8 ounces of brie, rind removed
-White pepper and salt, a dash of each
-Garlic powder, a dash
-1/2 cup of white wine
-4-6 tablespoons of flour
-lemon juice, a splash

Lemon Balm Pesto
-2 cloves garlic
-2 large handfuls fresh lemon balm
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 cup white wine
-1/4 cup parmesan
-salt, dash
-Crusty Italian bread, cubed

Remove the rind from your brie and cube it. Gently toss the brie in a half tablespoon of flour, this will help it melt. Add the brie to a small crock pot with a dash of white pepper, salt and garlic powder as well as the 1/2 cup of white wine. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Add all of the pesto ingredients to a food processor. Blend until smooth.  If you brie fondue has gotten a runny, add a tablespoon of flour at a time to help thicken it. Add a splash of lemon juice. Stir in the pesto and enjoy.

All of this fondue was gone before dinner. Brie is a nice subtle cheese, the lemon balm pesto added a tangy flavor. Overall this was tangy and rich. The lemon balm pesto really brought out some complex flavors that you wouldn't get from basil pesto. We served this with nice crusty Italian bread, you could also serve this with vegetables.


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